- つかむ（ボードをつかむに掛けている。後出 secure もここでは同意）
- win a title
- 優勝する（後出 win は獲得する、victory は優勝）
- 競技（後出 competitor は競技者、arena は競技場、competitive は競争による）
- an assortment of ～
- 技（後出 aerial は空中技）
- （ここでは）試技（後出 run もここでは同意）
- ～ native
- 大会（後出 event も同意）
- core strength
- (be) ridden on a sideways stance
Grabbing Air Time
Two-time Olympic snowboarding silver medalist Hirano Ayumu, 20, won the men's park title at the Japan national skateboarding championships at Murakami City Skate Park in Niigata Prefecture on May 12. With the victory, he is closer to securing a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where skateboarding was adopted as an official Olympic sport for the first time -- and a crack at becoming the first Japanese athlete to win a medal at both the Summer and Winter Games.
Park competitions take place on a hollowed-out course with a complicated assortment of sweeping curves resembling deep bowls. The incline at the top of the bowl is vertical or nearly vertical, and skateboarders can emerge at high speed, performing elegant mid-air tricks. Each competitor gets three tries at the course, with points awarded for individual tricks plus overall performance. The best total score of the three runs is counted for the competition.
Hirano's highly distinctive aerials generated excitement for the 1,000-plus-strong crowd in the arena. Even though he lost his balance and crashed near the end of the final run, "I took this challenge with my eye on the Tokyo Olympics. I managed to take one step toward that goal," said Hirano.
Hirano, a Murakami native, has been skateboarding and snowboarding since he was 4 years old. He used to practice at the skate park owned by his father and on local ski hills in the winter.
He also came in third at a March skateboarding meet in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. It was his first competitive skateboarding event in more than 10 years, but his stable performance supported by his core strength shined.
Hirano says his skateboarding technique is still only "40%" of what it should be, adding "though both (skateboards and snowboards) are ridden on a sideways stance, they're completely different ... but I keep on trying."
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