Women’s Street medallists, with Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed, Vice Chairman of Arada, and Sabatino Aracu, President of World Skate.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Aurelien Giraud, the French skateboarder, won the men’s Street 2022 World Championships at Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah, while Brazilian 15-year-old Rayssa Leal claimed gold in the women’s event.
The Street 2022 and Park 2022 World Championships are being co-organized by World Skate and UAE-based master developer Arada.
Both the Street 2022 World Championships and the Park 2022 World Championships, which run until February 12 at Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah, act as qualifiers for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
A dramatic Sunday in the men’s Street 2022 World Championships saw Giraud out of the medal positions entering his fourth attempt in the final’s trick section, where a stunning backside 360 claimed 91.48 points and, ultimately, gold.
Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro earned silver with 267.38 points – not quite enough to beat Giraud’s 269.33 total – while 12-year-old Japanese sensation Onodera Ginwoo took bronze through his 263.04 score.
The women’s final proved incredibly close, with Leal – whose top run of 83.32 was added to with best trick scores of 85.04 and 87.22 – earning 255.58 points to claim gold. It was a total enough to edge out 12-year-old Australian Chloe Covell’s 253.51 and Japan’s Momiji Nishiya’s 253.30 into silver and bronze.
Even more impressively, Leal triumphed despite heavy strapping on a wrist injury sustained during a fall in practice earlier in the week.
Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed Bin Talal, Vice Chairman of Arada, said: “We congratulate all the participants in the Street 2022 World Championships at Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah for what was an incredible event, filled with breath-taking tricks and world-class action.
“The Aljada Skate Park in Sharjah — which was designed with the help of a gold-medal winning Olympian skateboarder and has received rave reviews from the Street skaters all week — was a fitting host for a competition of this magnitude. The standard of both the men’s and women’s final exemplified why Arada is ahead of the curve in creating Aljada Skate Park to become the regional hub for one of the most rapidly growing sports in the world.
“We have no doubt that the Park 2022 World Championships in Sharjah will be just as entertaining and dramatic.”
Giraud said: “It’s crazy to be a world champion. I’ve been working super hard and I’m living my dream. My backside 360 gave me the most pleasure from my performance. To land a trick when you have to land it is a great sensation. I’m pretty sick about it.”
Leal said: “It’s such a pleasure for me and my country to be number one and win gold. I am very pleased that I made my country, my team and all the Brazilian staff happy and proud. We are like a family, the Brazil team.”
Both gold medal winners took home a cheque for $50,000. The men and women’s Park gold medal winners will also each receive a $50,000 prize.
A record-breaking total of more than 450 of the world’s best skateboarders – including all 12 of the 2020 Olympic medal winners – are featuring in the Street 2022 and Park 2022 World Championships, with an incredible prize pool of $500,000.
The Street 2022 and Park 2022 World Championships are sponsored by Red Bull, TikTok, Sharjah Tourism, Saudi German Hospitals, UAE Innovates, Aman Insurance and Reinsurance, Bones, Rage, Mini Logo, Embassy Skateboards, and Etnies.