The first-ever X Games in Japan is officially a wrap! Monster Energy congratulates its BMX, Moto X, and Skateboard athletes on a strong performance at X Games Chiba 2022. During the three-day live event, the world-class team claimed a total of 11 X Games medals, including 2 gold, 4 silver, and 5 bronze.
Supported by Monster Energy as the official energy drink partner, X Games Chiba 2022 saw more than 90 athletes from 18 countries compete for a total of 30 medals across 10 medal events in three sports. The 64th edition of X Games brought the stoke to ZOZO Marine Stadium on Tokyo Bay from April 22-24.
Here’s the play-by-play of how the action unfolded for team Monster Energy at X Games Chiba 2022:
X Games Chiba 2022 kicked off on Friday with spectacular halfpipe action in the Skateboard Vert finals. In the eight-rider jam session, 26-year-old Moto Shibata from Osaka, Japan, took the silver medal in front of a hometown crowd. The style icon rose to the podium with his unique blend of high airs, classic moves, and technical tricks. Shibata’s highlights included stalefish McTwist, front foot impossible lien air, and signature Kamikaze air. He now owns four X Games medals (1 gold, 3 silver).
Also on Friday, X Games Chiba 2022 brought back a classic: BMX Flatland was contested for the first time in 19 years. The discipline revolves around BMX athletes performing tricks on a flat surface without obstacles or jumps. Considered an icon of the sport, 36-year-old Moto Sasaki from Chiba, Japan, claimed bronze. In the head-to-head elimination format, Sasaki prevailed against Viki Gomez from Spain and Frenchman Mathias Dandois for his third-place finish and first career X Games medal.
On the second day of X Games Chiba 2022, the Monster Energy team’s medal run continued in the BMX Park final. X Games rookie and 22-year-old Monster Energy team rider Justin Dowell from Virginia Beach shook up the competition by rising all the way to second place. His fully dialed runs, including the signature Twix air (tailwhip barspin at the same time), earned Dowell his first-ever X Games medal. The rookie was joined on the podium by defending gold medalist Kevin Peraza from Tucson, Arizona. With combos like a huge 360 invert over the centerpiece jump into a 360 downside tailwhip, the 27-year-old took the bronze medal as his fourth X Games medal (3 gold, 1 bronze).
Saturday also saw 20-year-old Monster Energy athlete Mami Tezuka from Japan take bronze in Women’s Skateboard Park. With her creative bag of tricks, high-speed riding, and transfer airs, Tezuka earned her second X Games medal after claiming silver in Women’s Skateboard Park at X Games 2021.
In the weekend’s only motorized medal event, the world’s best freestyle motocross riders threw down contorted airs in the Moto X Best Whip contest. In a field of certified legends of the sport, X Games rookie and Monster Energy team rider Julien Vanstippen from Ophain, Belgium had what it took to advance to the podium. On the strength of turndown-style whips, traveling through the air entirely facing backwards, the 26-year-old claimed bronze in his X Games debut!
Under the spotlights at ZOZO Marine Stadium, the competitive BMX Street final on Saturday night ended with a major surprise: Monster Energy’s Lewis Mills from Terrey Hills, Australia, dominated the competition with combos like technical barspin to double peg grind to manual to toothpick hanger out. When all was said and done, the 23-year-old took home gold as his second X Games medal. Mills earned his first X Games medal as a rookie in BMX Street at X Games Sydney 2018.
The third and final day of X Games Chiba 2022 was fully dedicated to skateboard competitions. In the high-energy Men’s Skateboard Park final, 18-year-old Kieran Woolley from Minnamurra, Australia, exploded on the course with a flawless run. Woolley earned the silver medal on the strength of moves like alley-oop frontside 5-0 grind the extension, Indy varial kickflip, and a technical eggplant revert the deep end. He was joined on the podium by defending gold medalist and Monster Army rider Liam Pace from Tucson, Arizona. Although struggling with a foot injury sustained in his first run, Pace still finished in bronze medal position with moves like Indy 540 the deep end, and frontside air revert the hip.
In the high stakes Women’s Skateboard Street contest, 14-year-old Rayssa Leal from Imperatriz, Brazil, claimed her first career X Games gold on the strength of a dominant performance. Competing against the world elite of the sport, the skateboarding phenomenon demonstrated her technical skills by landing frontside feeble the big rail, kickflip backside lipslide, and frontside bluntslide in a flawless run. Before earning her first X Games podium at X Games Chiba, Leal took silver in Women’s Street Skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
For another major upset, the Men’s Skateboard Street contest witnessed the rise of a young rookie to the podium: In the final cut short by impending rain, 15-year-old Monster Energy rider Daiki Ikeda from Tokyo, Japan, claimed silver with technical tricks otherwise only seen in high-caliber skate videos. Moves such as big flip frontside boardslide, kickflip frontside bluntslide the rail, and hardflip the big stair set earned Ikeda a strong second-place finish against the world elite of the sport.