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13-Year-Old Skateboarder, Momiji Nishiya Becomes Japan’s Youngest Olympic Champion

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Japan’s Momiji Nishiya celebrates after performing a trick during the skateboarding women’s street final in Tokyo on Monday. The 13-year-old took gold in the competition. | AFP-JIJI
Japan’s Momiji Nishiya celebrates after performing a trick during the skateboarding women’s street final in Tokyo on Monday. The 13-year-old took gold in the competition. | AFP-JIJI

Japan’s Momiji Nishiya has become one of the youngest individual Olympic champions in history when she won the inaugural women’s skateboarding gold at the age of 13 years and 330 days on Monday.

The teenage girl went from being one of the youngest Olympians at the Tokyo Games to Japan’s youngest-ever gold medalist.

The previous record for Japan’s youngest gold medalist was held by swimmer Kyoko Iwasaki who won gold in Barcelona at 14.

Nishiya’s win came a day after Yuto Horigome won the men’s competition on Sunday to become the first-ever Olympic champion in the sport.

Funa Nakayama of Japan in action during the women’s street skateboarding final on Monday in Tokyo. | REUTERS

Though she initially stumbled and missed the landings on her first two tricks, Nishiya nailed her last three, bringing her total above Brazilian prodigy Leal.

Nishiya’s final audacious trick saw her win the title, with the average age of the podium incredibly just 13.5.

Japan's Momiji Nishiya celebrates with her coach after winning the skateboarding women's street final in Tokyo on Monday. | AFP-JIJI
Japan’s Momiji Nishiya celebrates with her coach after winning the skateboarding women’s street final in Tokyo on Monday. | AFP-JIJI

Nishiya finished with a score of 15.26, to claim the gold while Rayssa Leal (13 years and 203 days) of Brazil won silver medal with 14.64 and Japan’s 16-year-old Funa Nakayama took the bronze medal with 14.49.

Alexis Sablone of the United States, in prime position for the podium with two tricks remaining, settled for fourth after falls on both attempts.

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