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Momiji Nishiya sets sights on 2024 after winning Tokyo Olympics gold

Momiji Nishiya sets sights on 2024 after winning Tokyo Olympics gold
© Reuters
She triumphed ahead of Brazil's Rayssa Leal, also 13.

Momiji Nishiya made history at the age of just 13 on Monday as she became the first women's Olympic street skateboarding champion.

A day after Yuto Horigome won the men's competition for the host nation, Nishiya doubled up for Japan as she triumphed ahead of Brazil's Rayssa Leal, also 13.

The sport, making its Olympic debut, has already taken these Games by storm and the sight of these two youngsters battling it out for gold only added to the drama in a crash-filled final at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Nishiya finished with a score of 15.26 compared to 14.64 for Leal, who was looking to become the youngest ever Olympic champion but instead had to settle for being the youngest medallist in 85 years.

Japan's Funa Nakayama, 16, took bronze with a score of 14.64 – completing the youngest ever podium in an individual event at an Olympics.

"I'm very, very delighted," Nishiya said. "I'm very happy to be an Olympic champion.

"I have no particular feeling about my age. That's really nothing to do with the age...

"I've never experienced that level of emotions. That was the best joy I ever had."

Four of the eight finalists were under the age of 16, and all seemed to be feeling the spotlight as they struggled to put in clear runs.

Nishiya was no exception, but shone in the tricks section as she landed her three final attempts where others hit the deck.

"Not landing my first two tricks was frustrating," added Nishiya, who did make a big spin slide stick. "Before doing it I was not sure I would be able to land it, but after doing it I felt so much better.

"I'm so happy to win the Olympics in Japan. I want to be the famous one who everyone in the world knows. I want to win at Paris 2024, too."

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Momiji Nishiya celebrates winning skateboarding gold at the Tokyo Olympics on July 26, 2021
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