Japan’s Aori Nishimura and America’s Nyjah Huston have become the World Champions of Street Skateboarding 2018 in Rio de Janeiro at the first championship event jointly organised by World Skate and Street League Skateboarding (SLS).
The first champion was crowned in the women’s category before the attentive gaze of fans at Rio’s Carioca Arena 1. The 17-year-old Japanese skater Aori Nishimura went against all the odds when she beat Brazil’s Leticia Bufoni, champion in 2015 and runner-up in 2016 and 2017, and America’s Lacey Baker, SLS absolute champion for the past two years.
Young Nishimura overcame these two greats in a brilliant performance that saw her finishing ahead of Bufoni, a leading local figure, by a minimum 0.1 point advantage. Baker had to settle for the bronze medal after scoring more points than her compatriot Mariah Duran and 12-year-old Brazilian Virginia Fortes Aguas.
The podium results were also very close in the men’s category, where three-time champion Nyjah Huston (2014, 2017 and 2018) once again thwarted local glory by beating Brazil’s Kelvin Hoefler and Felipe Gustavo, silver and bronze respectively.
Hoefler’s performance bordered on excellence, as he resorted to his best tricks to end Huston’s reign. But the legendary American skater remained unbeatable and put in a very solid display, avoiding all errors to retain the crown over Hoefler by a 0.6 point advantage. Felipe Gustavo completed the Brazilian double on the podium after finishing ahead of France’s Aurelien Giraud.
PHOTO: World Skate