Olympics-Skateboarding-Horigome brings Japan skateboarding's first Olympic gold


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Skateboarding - Men's Street - Final - Ariake Urban Sports Park - Tokyo, Japan - July 25, 2021. Yuto Horigome of Japan in action. REUTERS/Toby Melville

TOKYO (Reuters) -Yuto Horigome of Japan claimed the first Olympic gold medal in skateboarding when he won the men's street final in Tokyo on Sunday.

Kelvin Hoefler of Brazil won silver, while Jagger Eaton of the United States clinched the bronze.

In a nail-biting final, Horigome stumbled through the two initial runs, but recovered his signature cool in landing four of the five final tricks, earning a near-perfect 9.50 after he flipped his board and soared over a railing.

Nyjah Huston, a star skateboarder who was expected to challenge Horigome for the gold, crumbled after landing the first trick in the final.

Earlier, Horigome, who grew up in the same ward where the venue is, said he still couldn't believe skateboarding made it into the Olympics.

"I'm so happy to be here," Horigome said.

Skateboarding's inclusion into the Olympics marks a turning point for the sport, which has its roots in youth street culture and has influenced everything from art to fashion.

(Reporting by Mari Saito;Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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