Australia wins men’s skateboard park gold, wrapping event’s Olympic debut in Tokyo

Keegan Palmer of Australia competes in the men's park skateboarding finals at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis).

Australian Keegan Palmer glided to gold on Thursday in what looked like an effortlessly smooth ride packed with tricks in the men’s park event at the Tokyo Olympics, while Brazil’s Pedro Barros grabbed silver for his lightning fast run through the concrete bowl.

Palmer, 18, showed off three controlled runs through the Ariake Urban Sports Park, landing lip tricks and massive 540s and setting a high of 94.04 in his very first run that became impossible for others to beat.

The Aussie then bested himself, showing off a 540 kick flip and throwing down his board afterwards in excitement. Palmer earned the highest score of the contest with 95.83 points for that third and final run.

Read more: Teen skaters from Japan, Britain win debut Olympic skateboard park medals in Tokyo

Barros barrelled around the course, flying over the park’s center piece island to earn his top score of 86.14, securing Brazil’s third silver medal in skateboarding at the Olympics. Barros showed off a front side nose grind in his second run but could not reach the standard set by the Australian.

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Cory Juneau of the United States clung onto bronze, despite humid conditions with temperatures rising to 32 degrees Celsius (89 degrees Fahrenheit) in the final runs.

The skaters, all sweating in their colorful uniforms and kneepads, hugged each other after the competition and took out their phones to take selfies with one another.

(Reporting by Mari Saito; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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