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Day Three | X Games Japan 2022
Rayssa Leal Strikes Gold on Day 3 of X Games Chiba 2022
Sayonara X Games Chiba! The first-ever X Games in Japan just wrapped with a bang. Sunday at X Games Chiba 2022 was all about skateboarding, all day long. Best of all, Monster Energy athletes claimed four medals in three skate events!
In the day’s major headline news, 14-year-old skateboard phenomenon Rayssa Leal from Imperatriz, Brazil, rose all the way to the top to claim her first career X Games gold in Women’s Skateboard Street.
The last day of competitions significantly boosted the Monster Energy team’s medal count: During three days of competitions, the team claimed 11 medals at X Games Chiba 2022 (2 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze) from BMX, Moto X, and Skateboard events.
Here’s the play-by-play of how it went down at X Games Chiba 2022 on Day 3:
Women’s Skateboard Street
Talk about a true skateboard phenomenon. At age 14, Rayssa Leal already commands the track record of a seasoned veteran. Her milestones include the silver medal in Skateboard Street at the Tokyo Olympics and two wins in Street League Skateboarding over the 2021 season.
The only thing missing in Leal’s trophy collection: A gold medal from X Games. That was about to change on Sunday, when the young Brazilian ripper came, saw, and conquered at X Games Chiba 2022 to go straight to the top on her very first run of the final.
Leal put down a frontside feeble the big rail, kickflip backside lipslide, backside Smith grind the A-frame rail, kickflip the London Gap, ollie through the swan kicker, and a frontside blunt slide the big rail. While the rest of the field struggled to catch up, Leal also put down a backside lipslide the big rail on her next run and earned gold as the youngest female gold medalist in X Games history.
“I was not worried. I have confidence in my skating. Every day, I train and I know what I need to do. But more than anything I am having fun,” said Leal upon winning the gold medal at X Games Chiba 2022.
Now commanding an Instagram following of 6.6 million, Leal first stepped into the international spotlight in 2015 at the age of 6 via a viral video of her heelflipping down a set of stairs dressed in a fairy costume. She earned the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games for Brazil.
Men’s Skateboard Park
Young talent continued to shine in the highly competitive Men’s Skateboard Park final. Riders from Australia, Japan, and the United States attacked the California Skateparks-designed course in a heated jam session.
When the dust settled, a young ripper from Australia held it down against the best of the best to claim his first X Games podium: 18-year-old Kieran Woolley from Minnamurra, Australia.
Known as a true all-terrain vehicle that can ride street and ramps, Woolley hit the course with alley-oop frontside 5-0 grind the extension, frontside feeble grind the deep end, backside crossbone air, frontside boneless, frontside nosegrind transfer the extension, Indy heelflip, frontside Smith grind the deep end, frontside invert, Indy varial heelflip and a technical eggplant revert the deep end for the silver medal.
Before claiming his first X Games medal, Woolley took second place at Cowtown’s 2022 PHXAM contest. You may also remember him knocking over a cameraman at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, where he finished in fifth place. Woolley won the Red Bull Cold Bowl contest in Philadelphia in December 2021 and was voted New Gen of the Year in the 2022 Skater of the Year Awards by Australian Slam Magazine.
Also rising to the podium, defending gold medalist and Monster Army rider Liam Pace from Tucson, Arizona, had to show his grit in the final. On his very first run, the 21-year-old injured his foot and finished the competition limping.
Nevertheless, Pace persevered and claimed his spot in the top three with a solid performance. Moves like frontside feeble and backside Smith grind the corner, Indy 360 air the hip, nosegrind transfer the extension, Indy 540 the deep end, backside 50-50 transfer the corner, crossbone air to tail, frontside air revert the hip and Caballerial disaster earned the Monster Army rider a well-deserved third place.
Pace made headlines by winning Skateboard Park gold at X Games 2021 and also won bronze in the 2019 U.S. Nationals.
Men’s Skateboard Street
One of the most anticipated events of X Games Chiba 2022 was almost canceled due to heavy rain. The Men’s Skateboard Street final was cut down to only two runs per rider. But this left the door open for a young rookie to make X Games history with a banging run!
In a historic upset, 15-year-old Monster Energy rider Daiki Ikeda from Tokyo clinched the silver medal with an incredible first run. Skating with confidence and technical control, the X Games rookie put down tricks otherwise reserved for top-notch video parts.
Ikeda hit the handrail with a big flip frontside boardslide, followed by a kickflip frontside bluntslide the rail, 270 lipslide revert the rail, 360 flip the swan kicker, and a massive hardflip the big stair set. While the rest of the field struggled to put down runs before the rain ended the contest, Ikeda upped the ante by almost landing a double 360 kickflip down the stair set on his second run. He finished his X Games debut in second place behind Japan’s Yuto Horigome in first.
Sunday’s silver marks the first X Games medal for 15-year-old Ikeda. The upstart already won gold in the Junior Street Division at X Games Minneapolis 2019 when he was only 13. Watch out for this kid in the future!
Congratulations to the Monster Energy team on an incredible bounty of 11 medals at X Games Chiba 2022 (2 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze).
Missed the action at X Games Chiba this weekend? No worries, you can catch full replays of all competitions on the official X Games YouTube channel.