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Skateboarding: Japan women sweep podium at Paris Olympic qualifier

Funa Nakayama of Japan is seen in action during the women's final of the World Street Skateboarding Rome 2022 at Colle Oppio park in Rome, Italy, on July 3, 2022. (Getty/Kyodo)

ROME (Kyodo) -- Funa Nakayama led an all-Japanese podium sweep in the women's event at the World Street Skateboarding Pro Tour leg in Rome on Sunday, with Momoji Nishiya and Yumeka Oda filling the other two places.

    It was the first major international victory for the 17-year-old Nakayama, the bronze winner at the Tokyo Olympics, who totaled 264.13 points. Tokyo gold medalist Nishiya finished second with a combined score of 255.64 points, followed by Oda who had 254.91 points.

    "I was really nervous. I panicked when I made mistakes on my first two tricks. But I landed a big trick and that was memorable. I want to learn more tricks before the Paris Olympics," Nakayama said.

    Also for Japan, last year's national champion Rizu Akama missed the podium by 0.29 point, and 12-year-old Coco Yoshizawa placed sixth.

    The June 26-July 3 competition serves as an Olympic qualifying event that will help determine which skaters will compete at the 2024 Paris Games by awarding points for their Olympic World Skateboarding Rankings.

    American skater Nyjah Huston took the men's title in Rome with a score of 279.43 points. Yuto Horigome of Japan, the Olympic champion, finished eighth and last in the final.

    The next qualification event will take place Oct. 2 to 9 in Rio de Janeiro.

    In total, 88 athletes will compete in the Paris 2024 skateboarding competition -- 22 athletes per event for the men's and women's street, and men's and women's park events.

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