Skateboarder, 13, becomes China’s youngest Asian Games gold medalist

China's Cui Chenxi celebrates after winning the women's skateboarding street final on day four of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.China’s Cui Chenxi celebrates after winning the women’s skateboarding street final on day four of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China

As adolescent females continue to dominate the sport, China’s Cui Chenxi, 13, became the nation’s youngest gold winner on Wednesday by winning the women’s skateboarding event at the Asian Games.

Cui started using roller blades at the age of three, according to interviews with several state-run media agencies in China, but he didn’t start skateboarding until he was unable to leave the house due of the Covid-19 outbreak, which occurred three years ago.

The amateur athlete won podium spots at provincial competitions at the professional level within a year.

Cui, who was born in Shandong and is competing for the Chinese national team in Hangzhou, made an amazing landing off the famously challenging high rail during the street event, which her rivals avoided, according to Reuters.

She was then seen proudly displaying the national flag across her shoulders as she walked through Qiantang Roller Sports Center.

Cui stated, “This is just the beginning,” adding that she would review footage of her performance. “We must keep working hard and striving to do well at the Olympics in Paris.”

Medals

Zeng Wenhui, Cui’s 18-year-old teammate, won silver, and Japanese 16-year-old Ito Miyu won bronze.

Skateboarding has previously made its Asian Games debut in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2014, but it didn’t take long for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 to launch it onto the mainstream competitive sports scene.

The street event requires competitors to perform tricks on a track scattered with stairs, rails, ramps, benches and more. Skaters arrange their own routes and moves as they wish, and are scored over two runs and five tricks to determine the final score.

While the men’s sport tends to be dominated by athletes in their late teens or early twenties, women’s skateboarding has skewed increasingly younger.

Cui beat bronze medalist Funa Nakayama in the September WST Lausanne Street competition, which served as a qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

China's Cui Chenxi competes in the final of the women's street skateboarding event during the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.China’s Cui Chenxi competes in the final of the women’s street skateboarding event during the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Chinese social media users applauded her triumph on Wednesday and hailed her youth and poise.

“Dear optimistic, extroverted, and self-assured girl, you’re the finest! On the Twitter-like platform Weibo, one user said, “You’re glorifying the nation!” while another jokingly said, “The juvenile champion reminds me that I was trash when I was young.

in Monday, Filipino nine-year-old Mazel Paris Alegado put in a strong performance before Cui’s winning run. Alegado told CNN that she was “proud” to have qualified as the youngest finalist for the women’s park competition.

Margielyn Didal, the Philippines’ gold medalist at the 2018 Asian Games, is only 24 years old, yet when compared to her younger rivals, she excelled in the street event.

Didal was the only contestant in the final who was exempt from wearing the safety equipment necessary for competitors under the age of 18.

According to Reuters, she stated, “I don’t feel old because I’m also a little bit childish, I just want to mess around,” after an injury in the final caused her to place last among the eight skaters. However, I feel a little left out because everyone is donning knee pads and helmets.

Hinano Kusaki, 15, of Japan finally won the women’s park competition, with Chinese competitors Li Yujuan, 20, and Mao Jiasi, 15, taking second and third.

Among the eight finalists, Li was the oldest.

Due to the medalists in women’s skateboarding being considerably younger than the two gold medalists in men’s skateboarding, who were 22 and 20, the sport attracted international attention in Tokyo during the 2020 Olympics.

Sakura Yosozumi, who was 19 at the time, won the women’s park competition, and her 12-year-old Japanese colleague Kokona Hiraki and 13-year-old Sky Brown of Great Britain both earned medals. Momiji Nishiya, 13, of Japan won the youngest Olympic champion ever in the street event, with Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, 13, and Japan’s Nakayama, 16, placing second and third, respectively.

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