At a tender age of just 13 years and 330 days, Japan’s Momiji Nishiya created history by winning gold in the inaugural women’s skateboarding and becoming one of the youngest Olympic Champions. Brazil’s Rayssa Leal – at 13 years and 203 days came second while Japan’s Funa Nakayama, 16, settled for bronze.
Had Rayssa Leal won the gold, she would have broken the record of the youngest ever Olympic Champion. Nisha scored 15.26 in the tricks section to give the hosts a clean sweep of the street discipline. Earlier, Nishiya’s teammate Yuro Horigome won the men’s title with a stunning sequence of tricks on Sunday.
“I’m happy that a skater from the same country as me get a medal,” Nishiya said. “I get nervous and lonely if there is no one from my country or no one to speak to. I was not nervous when I am with a competitor like Funa who is from my country and can talk with me. She is a friend of mine and also rival.”
At 13 years and 268 days, US diver Marjorie Gestring remains the youngest individual Olympic champion. Gestring won 3m springboard in the 1936 Berlin Games.
Skaters each have two 45-second runs on the equipment and five shots at a one-off trick. Their best four scores out of the seven make up their final total. Along with skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing and karate also made their debut in Olympics this year as part of an attempt to attract younger audiences.
1. Momiji Nishiya (Japan) (15.26 points)
2. Rayssa Leal (Brazil) (14.64)
3. Funa Nakayama (14.49).