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Skateboarding: Nishimura, Horigome set for SLS world c'ships final

Japan's Aori Nishimura advances to the women's final of the first-ever Street League Skateboarding world championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Jan. 12, 2019. (Kyodo)

RIO DE JANEIRO (Kyodo) -- Japan's Aori Nishimura on Saturday advanced to the women's final of the first-ever Street League Skateboarding world championships.

The 17-year-old Nishimura finished fifth in the semifinal at the Carioca Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the top eight of 24 competing female skaters advancing to Sunday's final.

The inaugural event, hosted in partnership with World Skate, serves to establish rankings and seeding for street competitions ahead of the 2019 Olympic qualifying season.

Japan's Yumeka Oda and Kaya Isa, who both reached the women's semifinal through a global open qualification round, were knocked out in the semifinal round after finishing 12th and 16th, respectively.

On the men's side, Japan's Daisuke Ikeda finished 16th and missed out on securing one of the four spots open to semifinal qualifiers.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games hopeful Yuto Horigome was automatically granted a berth in Sunday's final for being one of the top four skaters on the tour this season. The 20-year-old leads the standings after sweeping the three-leg SLS world tour, which ended in Huntington Beach last month.

Street League competitors skate on courses that resemble urban areas and are judged on how well they perform tricks on fixtures like rails, boxes and stairs.

Skateboarding is one of four sports set to make an Olympic debut in 2020. It will be held at the so-called Urban Cluster on Tokyo's waterfront, along with other events like BMX and 3x3 basketball.

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