Olympic snowboard halfpipe medalists Shaun White and Ayumu Hirano are the leading cross-sport names at the World Skate Park World Championship starting tomorrow in São Paulo. Qualifying points for Tokyo 2020 are on offer at the four-day event which also serves as the seeding competition for all remaining Olympic qualifiers next year with the exception of the 2020 World Championships. Fans who want to watch the live-action of Olympic Park Skateboarding can get Olympic Park Skateboarding Tickets online.
The United States’ White a three-time Olympic champion was a skateboarder before he was a snowboarder. He has claimed two Summer X Games gold medals in the skate vert discipline and although that will not feature at Tokyo 2020 White is hoping he can transition to park skating.
Hirano finished second behind White at Pyeongchang 2018 to add to his silver medal from Sochi 2014 and is keen to represent host country Japan at Tokyo Olympic 2020. While the 20-year-old has been entered into the World Skate Park World Championship by the Japan Skating Federation, White has been granted a wildcard entry and faces a battle to secure one of the three US spots for Tokyo 2020.
Tom Schaar and Zion Wright are both funded members of the US national skateboard team, while seven other American men have qualified for the event by virtue of their world ranking, including Jagger Eaton who is normally associated with street skateboarding.
Brazil’s Pedro Barros is the defending world champion and will be looking to retain his title in addition to gaining vital qualifying points in front of a home crowd. Worth looking out for on the women’s side of competition is 11-year-old Sky Brown.
The youngster, who has a British father and Japanese mother and was born in Japan, is hoping to represent Great Britain at Tokyo Olympic 2020 where skateboarding will feature for the first time.
Brown joined the British skateboarding team in January and has been busily collecting qualification points, reaching the Dew Tour semi-finals and finishing fifth at both the International Skateboarding Open in Nanjing and the X Games in Minneapolis.
In São Paulo, she is likely to have to overcome the American Brighton Zeuner who will be one of the favorites to triumph despite coming back from injury. Still just 15 she is already a two-time Summer X Games champion in the park discipline.
A total of 160 athletes 99 men and 61 women have entered the event at Parque Cândido Portinari with the top 20 skaters on the World Skateboarding Rankings in each event getting seeded byes. The top four go through to the semi-finals and the next 16 to the quarter-finals. Everyone else will take part in the open qualifiers with seven to 10 riders in each heat.
Each skateboarder gets two runs of 45 seconds in this round, with the best run counting and the top 16 advancings to the quarter-finals. In the quarter-finals and semi-finals, there will be four heats of eight and five riders per heat respectively.
In these rounds, each skater gets three runs of 45 seconds with the best run counting but the clock stops upon a fall and the run is over with no restarts allowed. The only change in the final, which is a single heat of eight riders, sees the number of 45-second runs per rider increased to four.