Shanghai, Friday 2nd May…It was a big ‘Skate’ day at the Kia World Extreme Games in Shanghai as the skateboarders contested two finals – Mini-Mega and Street – and the Inline skaters showed their skills on the Vert.
The third day of action at the KIC Jiangwan Sports Centre raised the bar yet again with both young and old stars lighting up the ramps.
First final of the day was the Skateboard Mini-Mega competition where they took the top five athletes from two final heats into a ‘super final’ with each rider dropping in from a 30 ft tower, jumping over a 32 feet gap, landing, and proceeding into a quarter pipe. The run gives the athletes an air elevation of 12-15 feet above the 18 ft quarter pipe wall.
2013 winner Andy Macdonald lost out to new kid on the block Trey Wood who was competing in his first-ever Mini-Mega competition! The 13-year old, also from the USA was overcome with emotion at the result.
He said, “I don’t know if it’s real or not! These are the guys I have looked up to all my life and watched on TV, they got me into skateboarding. To be able to even just skate with them is an honour. Andy has been in this so long so to be able to beat someone like that is just a dream come true.”
Andy Mack, as his fans know him, was equally thrilled with his medal and had great fun celebrating with the young kids – 17 year old Jono Schwan (USA) took the bronze with confidence and style.
Macdonald said, “I won this competition last year with the same run as I did for second place this year. I wanted to step it up with a new run that I made in the previous round. I wanted to save my best stuff for last but I couldn’t get the board to flip, it was getting a little windy. That would have been my medal run right there had it come around.”
Even at the age of 40 he is still relishing the sport as much as ever. He added, “This is the most fun thing I know to do, since I was 12 years old. I have the best job in the world!”
Schwan, like Wood, was stoked to have collected his first ever World Extreme Games Medal saying, “I am really happy to have come third. I am having a great time in Shanghai so far and I am looking forward to more adventures.
“I have the Vert finals tomorrow and hopefully that goes as well, or maybe even better, than today did.”
Skateboard Street Finals
The spectacle that dominates many actions sports events, also thrilled the shanghai crowd as the sun set. The shredders attacked the expanded Street Course in the final round, where it was once again a mix of young and old competing for honours on the urban inspired course.
The top five boarders competed for the medals with their best run counting, each bringing their own signature style on the lips, ramps and rails.
Performing his moves to perfection on the second run to get him the Gold was Japans Ryo Sejiri. “I am very happy because I tried my best and I made all the tricks today in the second round so I am really happy. I got third two years ago and this time I got gold,” said the 17 year old.
Another 13 year old medalist for the day, Jagger Eaton (younger of the two skateboarding brothers), collected his first medal in Shanghai and was gushing with pride after a confident and composed performance.
“I am so stoked to be here in Shanghai and competing with the best skaters in the world, it’s amazing. I did what I wanted to do out there so I am excited and it’s my first medal here.”
Feeling like the old man of the competition, 29 year old Jordan Hoffart of the United States rounded off the podium.
The towering Hoffart said, “It’s awesome, especially when I see little kids like this (Eaton) forcing me into retirement, to come out and still have a little juice in me to medal, it’s an honour. This is my first year for this event but this is my fifth trip to China. I hope to get invited back here because I love it. They look after us really well, we get first class service, a great event and I am excited to be a part of it.”
The second final of the Games for the bladers took place today on the Vert. Top of the bill were Japanese siblings – Eito and Takeshi Yasutoko who between them have now claimed Gold on the Vert for the past eight years. Eito clinched it in 2013 but this year the blades rolled in Takeshi’s favour once again for his 7th title in Shanghai, Eito took the silver.
Third place went to Bulgarian Nikolaj Najdenov, taking it with his fourth and final run of the competition.
Eito said, “We are so similar, it was very close today. We did good runs, both of us but Takeshi got some good grind tricks so that’s why he got first and I got second. I am happy, just tired.”
Hugely popular in Asia, Takeshi added, “The crowds are huge, I come to China ever year and it is getting bigger every year. I am happy that I can put on a good show for them.”
The Motocross riders were once again revving up the crowds as the eight competitors pulled out all the stops with their crazy stunts with their final all set for 12.30pm tomorrow.
The Madd Gear scooter troop was getting funky on the street course and the BMX boys prepared themselves for a double finals day tomorrow. The qualifying took place for the Street final and they geared up for the Mini-Mega contest with some high-flying practice. Vince Byron will have more Gold medals in his sights but the host of world-class riders in the line-up will be right on his wheel and ready to throw down all they have in a bid for top spot.
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