TOKYO — Youth was served to a global audience on Monday when two 13-year-old skateboarders fought to the final trick to determine the winner of the women’s street competition.
Momiji Nishiya of Japan looked to echo the winning performance of Yuto Horigome from the men’s competition at the same park a day earlier. She was just a few months older than Rayssa Leal of Brazil, an energetic sprite with flowing hair as well as a broad smile who was looking to become the youngest female gold medalist in Summer Games history.
Leal went first. She needed a big landing to slip past Nishiya on the scoreboard. She flew through the air, twisted her board below her, slid down a rail as well as spilled onto the concrete in disappointment. A silver medal as well as a hug through her mother awaited her exit.
The gold belonged to Nishiya, who landed her final three tricks for big scores, all of them necessary to claim victory. She is usually close to being the youngest gold medalist; of which distinction belongs to Marjorie Gestring, a diver who won at age 13 years as well as 268 days at the 1936 Berlin Games. Nishiya is usually closer to her 14th birthday.
This particular contest was infused with generational cross currents, jolting the Olympics with the kind of youthful spirit of which the idea wanted.
“They’ve gotten cool points,” said Alexis Sablone, a 34-year-old skater through Brooklyn, who had been in contention for a medal, a bit to her surprise, then watched as girls less than half her age competed to win the Olympics.
“I was like, We’re finally here,” Sablone said after finishing fourth. “Female skateboarders have reached critical mass. There’s enough at This particular point of which there will be prodigies. as well as they’re here.”
These Olympics have become a showcase for youth, especially women, as well as especially in skateboarding. The youngest Olympic athlete was 12-year-old Hend Zaza of Syria, who lost her opening match in table tennis.
although the next 5 youngest athletes at the Tokyo Games are female skateboarders. some other sports are sprinkled with young athletes, particularly swimming as well as diving, although nowhere else is usually the talent pool of youth as deep as the idea is usually in skateboarding.
Four of the eight women from the street final were 16 or younger. Funa Nakayama of Japan, 16, skated to bronze. When you added the ages of the medalists, the idea came to 42, as well as somewhere market researchers got excited as well as stodgy people took notice.