Team GB’s history-maker! 13-year-old Sky Brown progresses to the park skateboarding final after making faultless start in her bid to win famous gold in Tokyo… as she becomes Britain’s youngest ever Olympian
British skateboarder Sky Brown remained on track to become the youngest individual gold medallist in Olympic history on Tuesday after a superb performance in the heats.
Brown, 13, put down her planned run to such perfection that she was at the top of the qualifying positions ahead of the final round of heats.
Then Japan’s Misugu Okamoto laid down the gauntlet with a huge third run of her own which was the best in qualifying. It looks like 13-year-old Brown and Okamoto will be the two fighting it out for gold.
Sky Brown, just 13 years of age, showed no signs of nerves on her Olympics debut in Tokyo
Team GB’s teenage star hugs France’s Madeleine Larcheron during her heat on Tuesday
Brown looked calm as she prepared for her run, despite the blistering heat here. It is the hottest day of the Tokyo Olympics with temperature at the Ariake Urban Sports Park of 33 celcius, with a 90 per cent humidity.
Brown’s routine include her signature ‘frontside 540’ which entails one and a half spins. Her ability to repeatedly lean while she span – ‘corking it out’ as it is known in the sport – also put her well ahead of the field in her heat.
Having watched a number of the riders going before her fall, Brown’s first run was impeccable. But it was in the second that she managed to get optimal height – soaring above the track to post a score of 57.40. With her qualification assured, she went easy in the third run of her heat, seemingly preserving her nerves for the final.
Though Okamoto, the world No 1, put down a ‘540’ right at the start of her first run of the heats. But it was in her third run of the heat that she moved ahead of Brown. The two will go last in the final, creating what seems set to be a dramatic conclusion to this new Olympic event.
Brown qualified for the final of the park skateboarding gold with one run to spare on Tuesday
Even if Brown doesn’t win gold, she would be youngest individual medallist in 85 years. At 13 years and 28 days old, she would be the youngest since Inge Sorensen of Denmark, who was 12 years 24 days when she won bronze in the 200m breaststroke in 1936.
The one Olympian younger than Brown to have taken gold is a mystery. There was a seven-year-old French boy who competed as coxswain for the Dutch coxed pair rowing team in the 1900 Olympics.
After qualifying for the final, Brown told the BBC: ‘That was insane. It is crazy. It is crazy to be here and skating with all the girls has been really fun.
‘Everyone has been ripping. It is awesome, it’s awesome to be here. I didn’t think about the scores. But I am really stoked on that score. Very stoked. I have some other tricks but I am just going to enjoy the time of being at the Olympics.’
The other Briton, Bombette Martin, did not make the final after finishing 18th in qualifying. She said: ‘I thought my first run was pretty good but I don’t think the judges did.’ She said she wanted to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics for Team GB, when she will still not quite be 18.