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Skateboarding: Horigome into 1st Paris Olympics q'fier final

Yuto Horigome of Japan competes in the men's skateboard street final at the X Games Chiba at Zozo Marine Stadium in Chiba on April 24, 2022. (Kyodo)

ROME (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Yuto Horigome was the only Japanese to make Saturday's eight-man World Skate Street Skateboarding final in Rome, coming third in the semifinals with 254.60 points.

    Portugal's Gustavo Ribeiro leads the men's side in the first Paris Olympics qualifying competition with 262.50 followed by American Nyjah Huston with 255.00. Two Japanese skaters missed the final -- 15-year-old Toa Sasaki finished 10th and Tokyo Olympian Yukito Aoki came 12th.

    Horigome, who finished the quarterfinals in 11th place, scored 87.39 with the second of his two runs followed by solid scores from the first two of his five tricks.

    "I was able to skate well," the 23-year-old said. "Going for it with my best tricks was part of my game plan. It's a positive that I felt good executing them."

    Horigome was at his creative best in his mistake-free second run which included his trademark nollie backside 270, although he appears to be dealing with a leg injury ahead of Sunday's final.

    "I don't know how things will be tomorrow. I want to use some techniques that I haven't shown yet in the final," he said.

    Japanese dominated the women's semifinals with five qualifying for the final. Tokyo bronze medalist Funa Nakayama scored top at 252.41, with Rizu Akama third, Coco Yoshizawa fourth, Tokyo gold medalist Momiji Nishiya fifth and Yumeka Oda sixth.

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