Sky Brown is hoping her success in Tokyo will help change people's minds about skateboarding as an Olympic sport, as she looks to add another discipline to her bow in 2024.

Brown became the youngest British medallist in Olympic history when she clinched bronze in the women's park skateboarding event on Wednesday.

The 13-year-old – who won gold at the X Games in July – fell on her first two runs, but nailed her final effort to take bronze with a score of 56.47. Japan's Sakura Yosozumi won gold, with the host nation also claiming silver through Kokona Hiraki.

Skateboarding was making its Olympic debut in Tokyo and will again be competed in Paris in 2024.

That decision had its detractors, but all four events across the men's and women's disciplines have been a huge success at the Ariake Urban Sports Park, where youth has reigned supreme.

"I'm feeling insanely happy, it's crazy to be here, I'm thankful," Brown told BBC Sport.

"I hope I've changed people's minds about skateboarding. People don't know how beautiful skateboarding is, there are no rules, you can be creative, just get out there and do whatever you want.

"Falling on your first two runs is the worst feeling ever. I usually make my first two runs so I was a little shocked yesterday. My dad told me: 'This is just a contest, even if you fall you're still amazing, you're still good.'

"Then [gold medallist] Sakura said: 'Sky, we believe in you, you've got it, just stick it.' Everyone was cheering and I just thought, 'I've got to do this. I've got to land it'."

 

Brown suffered skull fractures due to a fall in 2020, but she explained: "That was a bit of a rollercoaster, but that accident made stronger, it made me feel powerful, it made me want to go hard and push myself.

"That was a heavy time for my family. It's insane to be here right now."

It is not just skating that Brown excels at. She is also a keen surfer, along with her brother Ocean, and is hoping to compete in that event in three years' time.

"That's the goal, that's my dream, competing for skating and surfing in Paris. That would be really cool. I surf more than I skate," she said.

"All I did to get here was believe in myself and take baby steps. If you believe in yourself, you could be here. But you've got to have fun and enjoy the journey."

Carissa Moore stormed to Olympic gold medal glory on surfing's Games debut as she dazzled in waters made choppier than normal by the nearby tropical cyclone.

Born in Hawaii, where she still lives, and a former student of the Punahou prep school that was also attended by Barack Obama and Michelle Wie, Moore added to her four world titles with the Tokyo 2020 top prize.

The 28-year-old had been a favourite for the new addition to the Olympic programme and did not disappoint, producing big runs on her fourth and fifth attempts on the waves at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach. She scored 7.33 followed by 7.60 for a combined 14.93 to comprehensively defeat Bianca Buitendag in the final.

Buitendag's best two scores were 3.23 and 5.23 as she failed to impress the judges in the way Moore's eye-catching performances had.

Few at the Olympics welcomed the threat of an incoming storm, but the surfers are a breed apart and thrive on the powerful waves, the likes of which Moore is familiar with from home.

If anything weighed on her shoulders, it appeared to be the medal more than the pressure.

"It's quite heavy," Moore said as she tried the gold on for size.

"I'm very proud and honoured. It's been a crazy couple of days, a little bit of a rollercoaster of emotions just trying to figure out the break, find my rhythm, learning how to trust myself without my family here.

"I feel super blessed, super fortunate. It's been an incredible experience."

 

Moore started her life in surfing at the age of five, on Waikiki beach in Honolulu, and she had described it as "a cherry on top" of her Olympic experience to reach the final.

While Buitendag took silver, bronze went to Japan's Amuro Tsuzuki.

Gold in the men's event went to Brazil's Italo Ferreira, who scored a resounding win over Japan's Kanoa Igarashi, prevailing by 15.14 to 6.60 in the final.

Igarashi had scored impressively on his way through the rounds, notably with a 17.00 combined score in the semi-final, but could not produce that level when it mattered most.

Ferreira said: "It's one of the best days of my life for sure. I was so nervous at the beginning but I just tried to surf and have fun because two months ago I was busy with training and thinking and dreaming and now I've got the gold medal. The dream came true."

The first Olympic skateboarding champion will be crowned on day two of the Tokyo Games.

Ariake Urban Sports Park will be the venue for the first skateboarding action in Olympic history on Sunday.

Elsewhere, it will be the turn of the women to contest the cycling road race after Richard Carapaz produced a brilliant ride to take gold for Ecuador on Saturday.

Stats Perform picks out of some of the standout action to look out for at the end of the opening weekend of competition.

HUSTON FAVOURITE TO MAKE SKATEBOARDING HISTORY

The men's street will be the first skateboarding event, with four heats followed by a final at 12:25 local time.

Nyjah Huston of the United States is the favourite to top the podium, with 16 street skateboarding medals to his name in the X Games.

Tokyo-born Yuto Origome won gold at the World Street Championships in Rome this year and it would be a great story if he can follow that up with an Olympic triumph on home soil.

Skateboarding great Tony Hawk said on Saturday of the sport's introduction: "I'm surprised it took this long for them to figure it out.

"I believe they needed a youthful energy to the summer Games and it's overdue."

DUTCH DUO UNPRECEDENTED DOUBLE

Anna van der Breggen and Marianne Vos have already won Olympic gold medals and they will go in search of a second in the women's road race.

No female cyclist has won the event twice, but the 2012 champion Vos and defending champion Van der Breggen will start the course at Musashinonomori Park looking to achieve that feat.

EYES ON THE POOL – AND ON THE BEACH

The first swimming medals of the Games will be handed out on Sunday following Saturday's heats.

There is an open field in the men's 400 metre medley final – the first event of the day – after home favourite Daiya Seto failed to qualify.

The women's event does feature Hungary's Katinka Hosszu, though, as she aims to protect her 2016 gold, won with a world-record time that stands to this day.

Meanwhile, Australia will take to the pool confident of another gold in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay final, boasting the title, the world record and by far the best qualifying time.

A new water sport should garner some attention, though, as surfing makes its Olympics bow.

Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach – preferred to a wave pool – plays host for the first and second rounds on Sunday.

Reigning world champions Italo Ferreira and Carissa Moore will hope it is a debut to remember.

USA TO GET ON THE BOARD?

While China are sitting pretty already with four medals, the United States will hope not to have to wait too much longer for their first.

Not since Munich 1972 had they ended the first day of the Games without a medal as was the case on Saturday.

The basketball medals are a long way off being handed out, but plenty of American focus will be on Team USA's opener against France.

Preparations for Kevin Durant and Co have not been ideal and Les Bleus beat USA at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Organisers of the troubled Tokyo Olympics are facing a new headache with the prospect of an incoming typhoon early in the Games.

Monday's rowing events have already been moved to Sunday, to guard against the possibility of the powerful storm hitting Japan's capital.

Masa Takaya, spokesperson for the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, addressed the threat posed by the tropical cyclone after it was confirmed there was "adverse weather" expected on Monday.

He said the issue had been "discussed in crisis management", with the typhoon currently off shore but heading in the general direction of Tokyo, according to some forecasts.

"Unlike an earthquake, we are able to predict the path of a typhoon, therefore we can prepare in advance," Takaya added.

"Especially when it comes to rowing, as a preventative measure we have decided to change the schedule.

"For the athlete we understand it is going to be a substantial burden; however, this is a case that has been experienced in past Olympics Games as well.

"But of course we are looking very closely at the path of the typhoon to ensure there are decisions made as a preventive measure."

Already delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and taking place largely behind closed doors, the Tokyo Games got under way in unprecedented circumstances.

A major storm, particularly one that might cause damage and even a threat to human life, would be another daunting hurdle that organisers would need to be ready for.

Sailing and surfing are among other sports on Monday's schedule.

Takaya added: "Should a typhoon make landfall there could be damages both human and also physical damages. When that should be the case, we would take responsible measures.

"As to what will happen in the days ahead, we are not able to accurately predict. At this point, I will not be able to inform you exactly as to what [action] precisely will be taken."

The Tokyo Olympics will scale new heights, ride the crest of a wave, and hit it out of the park.

You can guarantee the Games will achieve that triple-whammy, because sport climbing, surfing and baseball are all part of Japan's big show.

The Games of the 32nd Olympiad have been hit hard by the pandemic, but the diversity of 'new' sports on offer means a feast of entertainment is beckoning, designed to attract younger audiences.

Skateboarding an Olympic sport? After snowboarding proved a raging success at the Winter Games, it was a banker that kickflips and Caballerials would be coming to the summer programme.

And soon enough we will all have a tight grip on the technicalities of lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering.

The Olympics are getting a radical facelift, and you'll want to take a close look.


Sport climbing

Given the Olympic motto is 'faster, higher, stronger', perhaps it is a wonder that climbing has not been a part of the Games before now.

Yet this version of the sport is a relatively modern phenomenon, having first become established in the 1980s.

Climbing walls are as prevalent in many parts of the world as ice rinks or bowling alleys, becoming a fashionable leisure activity but a competitive sport for some.

Complicated routes to dizzying heights, seeking the highest controlled hold possible, are the hallmark of lead climbing, while speed climbing is an attack on the senses for competitor and viewer alike, with elite men having been known to hurtle up a 15-metre wall in barely five seconds.

Bouldering is a test of problem-solving expertise as well as skill, a true examination of the climber's wit and athleticism.

At Tokyo's Aomi Urban Sports Park, the climbing competition for men and women will cover all three disciplines, with combined scores deciding the medals.

 

Surfing

Sailing, canoeing and kayaking have been mainstays of the Olympic Games, and now surfing joins as a high-octane addition to the roster of sports.

The daredevil nature of surfing means it should prove one of the outstanding spectacles, assuming Mother Nature brings the Pacific coast waves Games organisers are looking for.

Each of the 20 men and 20 women competing will be allowed to ride up to 25 waves in 30 minutes, with their two highest scopes from the five judges being counted, so choosing the right moment for a high-tariff manoeuvre is all important.

Surf stars will be assessed on their "commitment and degree of difficulty, innovative and progressive manoeuvres, combinations of major manoeuvres, variety of manoeuvres, and speed, power and flow", the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said.

American John John Florence is a man to watch out for, with the 28-year-old two-time former world champion having built up his skills riding the waves of his native Hawaii. He suffered a worrying knee injury in Perth, Australia in May, but has recovered in time for the Games.

Skateboarding

Once largely portrayed as the preserve of weed-smoking punk kids, and certainly still patronised by the disaffected youth, skateboarding now comes with a highly professional element too.

Washington Square Park, Venice Beach and the undercroft of London's Southbank Centre have been epicentres of the growing subculture, but now the focus turns to Tokyo, where separate street and park disciplines will test the elite boarders.

Competitors will be assessed on the difficulty level, the originality and the execution of their displays at the Ariake Urban Sports Park.

This will be skateboarding's coming-out party as a major competitive sport, with the eyes of millions across the world setting their eyes on the stars who put themselves in more danger of injury than most Olympians.

Japan's Yuto Horigome and Aori Nishimura won gold in the men's and women's Street World Championship in Rome just a matter of weeks ago, ramping up the interest at home.

British 12-year-old Sky Brown, poised to become her country's youngest summer Olympian, will also be one to watch after recovering from a horror skateboarding accident last year that saw her suffer skull fractures. They are a tough set in this sport, with surely nobody braver than Brown.

Karate

Of course karate needed to be in any 21st century Olympics hosted by Japan, and it may be a surprise to many that this marks its debut at the Games.

The sport has Japanese roots and there seem sure to be home gold medals, while global exposure to karate is perhaps at an all-time high thanks to the popularity of Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai, the Netflix series.

Spain are a mighty force too, with Damian Quintero and Sandra Sanchez prime contenders for gold in the kata discipline, both being ranked number one in the world.

In the combat element, known as kumite, the jargon may take some getting used to for newcomers. One point, known as a Yuko, is awarded for a punch to key areas of an opponent, including the head, back or torso, while a Waza-ari is worth two points and will be given for a kick to the body.

An Ippon, for three points, is achieved by landing a high kick to the head or a punch to a grounded opponent.

Karate will take place at Tokyo's famous Nippon Budokan, which as well as being a famous martial arts venue also famously played host to The Beatles for a series of shows in 1966.

Rock acts including Bob Dylan and Cheap Trick recorded legendary live albums at the Budokan, which was built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and has also staged Muhammad Ali fights, one a standard boxing match in 1972 and the other a bizarre hybrid clash in 1976 with wrestler Antonio Inoki.

 

Baseball and softball

Baseball was an Olympic medal-awarding sport from 1992 to 2008 and softball had that status from 1996 to 2008, so you would be forgiven for not feeling any huge rush of enthusiasm about its return to the Games.

Unlike in basketball, the United States do not bring their baseball A-listers to the Games, relying on a group largely formed of minor-leaguers and free agents, and South Korea were the last Olympic champions.

This year the competition will feature the Dominican Republic, Israel, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and the United States, while the women's softball event will be contested by Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and the USA.

Japan's baseball stars are reportedly each in line for bonuses worth 10 million yen (£65,000) if they carry off the gold medal.

They won an exhibition event at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, beating the United States in the final, and have since claimed a silver and two bronze medals.

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