Sky Brown finished second in the standings during qualification as Team GB’s teenage sensation cruised into the park skateboarding final and outlined why she has every chance of making the podium.
The 13-year-old was making history at Tokyo 2020 as the youngest British Olympian at a summer Games, and posted a score of 57.40 in her second run to lay down a marker going into the final – which starts at 4.30am UK time.
Brown told Eurosport afterwards: “It’s just insane to be here, skating a really fun park is crazy. I was honestly just excited to drop in and show what I’ve got. It’s awesome, I’m having so much fun being in the Village and being here.
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“I’m kind of used to it, but I didn’t expect it to be this hot, but I’m still enjoying it. I’m going to cool down [before the final] then get back on the skateboard.”
Already an X Games gold medallist, Brown – who also won bronze at the 2019 worlds – will face stiff competition from Japanese trio Sakura Yosozumi, Kokona Hiraki and Misugu Okamoto, with the latter posting 58.51 to top the rankings.
Meanwhile, fellow Briton Bombette Martin missed out on the eight-skater final.
The essence of park skateboarding is to score as highly as possible (on a scale of 0-100) by performing tricks either mid-air or along the coping of the hollowed-out course, and in qualifying each skateboarder had three 45-second runs with their best score determining whether they reached the final.
GB’s Martin made history as the first skater out on the course, and she was hoping to better her score in her next two runs when opening with of 14.40.
Meanwhile, one of the favourites, Japan’s Yosozumi, impressed in the opening heat, scoring 42.50 and then 45.93, while 15-year-old Martin improved on her opening score with a 16.21.
Martin, ranked 27th in the world, then recorded 14.31 in her final run, meaning she was unlikely to make the top eight, while Yosozumi saved the best for last to top the opening heat with a 45.98.
The second heat saw Japan’s Hiraki post the best score so far of 52.46, an early indication she has a chance of medalling given it was some seven points better than Yosozumi’s best run.
It was then all eyes on Brown in the third heat, with the Brit – ranked third in the world – one of five skaters knowing a score in the 40s would likely be enough to make the final.
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Not only did she surpass the 40-mark, but a score of 55.26 in her opening run put her top of the standings.
Brown then recorded a 57.40 in the second run, and she played it safe in her final run – scoring 40.03 – to ensure a safe passage into the final.
In the final of four heats, world No 1 Okamoto was the name to watch, and after a 54.31 and 55.59, the world champion closed out with a 58.51 to pip Brown at the top.
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