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'22 WST World Champions
15-Year-Old Leal from Brazil Becomes New World Champion in Women’s Street Skateboarding and 25-Year-Old Giraud from Lyon, France is the World Champion in Men’s Street Skateboarding.
We have TWO new World Champions! Monster Energy congratulates 15-year-old team rider Rayssa Leal from Imperatriz, Brazil, on taking first place in Women’s Street Skateboarding in the World Skate 2022 World Championships in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) this weekend.
In the Men’s Street Skateboarding discipline, 25-year-old Aurelien Giraud from Lyon, France, rose all the way to the top to claim the World Championship title. Both riders received medals and $50,000 in prize money.
From January 29 - February 12, 2023, more than 450 of the best street and park skateboarders are competing in the World Skate 2022 World Championships at Aljada Skatepark in Sharjah, UAE. The event was initially slated for 2022 but postponed. Organized by World Skate, the official international governing body for skateboarding in the Olympics, the contest serves as a key qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympics and offers a combined purse of $500,000 in prize money.
Stacked with stairs, rails, banks, and quarterpipes in a variety of sizes, the concrete street course at Aljada Skatepark provided the perfect backdrop for the world’s most advanced street skateboarders to crown new men’s and women’s World Champions. Throughout several days of qualifiers and semifinals, the high-energy crowd and viewing audiences were treated to some of the finest street tricks ever seen in competition.
The high level of riding became apparent in the Women’s Skateboard Street Final. Monster Energy’s Rayssa Leal dropped in as the rider to beat after winning the SLS Super Crown World Championship in November 2022 and remaining uncontested at every stop of the 2022 SLS World Championship Tour.
As it turned out, the Sharjah event was no walk in the park for Leal, who had been dealing with a wrist injury sustained in practice. But when the time came to send it big in the final, the 15-year-old ripper put her technical skills and consistency on full display.
In her perfect first run of the final, Leal put together backside tailslide the ledge, kickflip frontside boardslide the handrail, frontside lipslide up the Euro Gap rail, gap to backside lipslide the big rail, backside 50-50 the flat bar, and frontside bluntslide the handrail for 83.32 points.
Moving into Best Trick, she finessed a kickflip frontside boardslide the handrail for 85.04 points to take over the lead. But missing her second trick attempt, Leal found herself bumped from the top spot in need of a big trick. She found it on her third try: On the massive gap-to-rail obstacle, Leal put down a kickflip backside lipslide for 87.22 points. And like that, the Brazilian skate phenom secured a total score of 255.58 points that no other competitor could match. Applauded by the enthusiastic crowd, Leal received the medal as the official Woman’s Street Skateboarding World Champion.
Hailing from Brazil, Leal advanced from a young phenomenon to a top competitor at a record pace. In 2019, Leal made history at age 11 as the youngest rider to ever win an SLS tour stop and took second place at the SLS World Championship in Brazil that year. In 2021, she claimed the silver medal in the Women’s Skateboard Street event at the Tokyo Olympics. At X Games Chiba 2022, she became the youngest gold medalist in Women’s Skateboard Street and won the 2022 SLS Super Crown World Championship in Rio de Janeiro.
In Sunday’s Men’s Skateboard Street final, Monster Energy’s Aurelien Giraud faced a stacked field of competitors, including reigning 2022 SLS World Champion Gustavo Ribeiro from Portugal. Riders received two run attempts and five Best Trick attempts, with winners decided on their best three combined scores.
After emerging from the semifinal as the fifth-place qualifier, Giraud was ready to turn up the heat in the final. In his highest-scoring run, the Frenchman combined backside tailslide the rail into bank, 360 kickflip the kicker, alley-oop frontside ollie from quarter to bank, kickflip frontside boardslide the Euro Gap rail, frontside noseblunt slide the ledge, hardflip frontside boardslide down the rail, backside hurricane grind fakie the Euro Gap rail, and nollie backside kickflip the stair gap for 84.49 points.
Going into Best Tricks, Giraud upped the ante by launching a massive transfer over the entire centerpiece – but missed the landing on the first try. With other riders posting big tricks, Giraud found himself at the very bottom of the leaderboard in eighth place. His answer? Send it big with a huge hardflip backside 180 over the entire centerpiece that had the crowd on its feet and the judges handing out 93.93 points!
Keeping the next-level tricks coming, Giraud chose the stair gap for his winning trick: On his fourth attempt, Giraud landed a flawless backside 360 kickflip – rotating 360 degrees while kickflipping his board – for 91.48 points and the win. With a combined score of 269.33 points on the boards, Giraud was crowned the official Men’s Street Skateboarding World Champion in UAE.
“It’s crazy, I never thought that before. There are so many good skateboarders here. I’m just super proud and hope my family and friends enjoy this moment,” said Giraud upon winning the World Skate 2022 World Championships in Sharjah.
Giraud first entered the international spotlight by winning the coveted Tampa Am street skateboarding competition in 2015. After turning professional, Giraud proceeded to claim first-place trophies in high-profile international contests such as Simple Session, the French National Championships, and Dew Tour.