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Olympics: 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan takes street skateboarding gold

By
Kyle Barnett
Japan's Momiji Nishiya celebrates in the final during the Tokyo Olympics skateboarding women's street at Ariake Sports Park in Tokyo on Monday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japan's Momiji Nishiya celebrates in the final during the Tokyo Olympics skateboarding women's street at Ariake Sports Park in Tokyo on Monday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

July 26 (UPI) -- Thirteen-year-old Momiji Nishiya of Japan won the gold medal in the women's street skateboarding competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, becoming the second-youngest gold medalist in history and Japan's youngest.

Nishiya was one of eight skaters to make the final of the women's street skate and mounted a bit of a comeback to take the gold at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

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Nishiya scored a 3.02 on her first run and fell on her first two attempts during the trick portion of the competition. She scored 4.15, 4.66 and 3.43 on her final three attempts and finished with a score of 15.26.

After she was announced as the winner, Nishiya shed a few tears.

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"I wasn't too worried about getting a medal. It was like, it'd be nice if I can get one," Nishiya said, according to Kyodo News.

Skateboarding is one of four new sports at the Olympic Games this year, meaning Nishiya is the inaugural winner in the women's skate competition.

The Osaka native had success in the "best trick" section, in which skaters get five attempts to perform a trick, and landed a front-side feeble grind en route to her victory.

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"I didn't think I could win, but everyone around me cheered me on so I'm glad I was able to find my groove," she said, according to The Guardian.

Two skaters from Japan, the host nation, landed on the medals podium. Funa Nakayama, 16, took the bronze. Brazil's Rayssa Leal, 13, won the silver.

American Alexis Sablone, 34, finished in fourth place and just missed out on a medal, and was followed by Roos Zwetsloot of the Netherlands, Zeng Wenhui of China, Margielyn Didal of the Philippines and Aori Nishimura of Japan.

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Zwetsloot, Zeng, Didal and Nishimura all fell on their final three attempts during the trick portion.

Nishiya's victory makes her the second-youngest Olympic gold medalist in history. She's 62 days older than American Marjorie Gestring, who won gold for diving in 1936.

"All the medalists are super young, imagine that?" Didal, who's 22, said, according to The Guardian. "It's history, and I've just witnessed it. First ever Olympics and I was able to skate with them."

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Australia's gold medalist Keegan Palmer performs in the men's park skateboarding final on August 5. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

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