Jacko is back! That’s the biggest takeaway from day one of X Games Shanghai 2019. The world’s most winning Moto X Best Trick competitor, Monster Energy’s Jackson Strong, returned from injury to claim his fifth career X Games medal in the event. The opening day of the first-ever X Games Shanghai also saw Monster Energy BMX rider James Foster walk away with a bronze medal in the highly competitive BMX Big Air final.
Here’s how the action unfolded…
The stoke level was high on Saturday for the debut of X Games Shanghai, bringing together nearly 75 athletes from 12 countries in seven disciplines across Skate, BMX and Moto X. The world’s premium action sports spectacle drew major crowds to a mixture of action sports, music and youth culture at festival village inside the Shanghai International Tourism and Resorts Zone.
After the action-packed weekend kicked off with Women’s Skateboard Street, it was time to introduce live audiences to the world’s best in freestyle motocross. Moto X Best Trick saw the sport’s world elite battle for X Games medals on the freestyle course featuring two launch ramps: a 45-degree kicker ramp over a massive 75-foot gap into a dirt landing and a steep 60-degree Super Kicker ramp for multiple rotations over a shorter gap.
Freshly returned from an injury, Monster Energy’s Jackson Strong was hungry for a medal after being sidelined from X Games Sydney 2018. Facing a field of the world’s best freestyle motocross riders, Jacko put it all on the line on his final attempt of the day: Jacko charged the big gap and spun a picture-perfect no-handed frontflip that had the crowd on its feet. The extremely hard to control aerial earned Strong a massive 97.33-point score and the gold medal. Today’s win brings Strong’s total count to eight X Games medals (five gold, three silver) and he’s ready to continue his momentum into X Games Minneapolis this summer.
Also rising to the challenge, Jacko’s teammate and Australian motocross icon Josh Sheehan closely missed the podium today. The seven-time X Game medalist posted a flawless no-handed double backflip off the Super Kicker for 93.00 points and a strong fourth place finish.
Next up, the action moved to the 73-feet tall Mega Ramp for the BMX Big Air event. Monster Energy team rider James Foster, who claimed BMX Big Air gold at X Games Minneapolis in 2017 and 2018, came into the competition as a clear podium threat. But past achievements held no weight in Shanghai, as the level of competition escalated in the final session featuring ten athletes from three countries, including six American riders, three Australians and one Brazilian.
In front of a huge crowd, Foster sent a massive no-handed backflip over the 63-feet gap – taking his hands off the bike’s handlebar in mid-air – followed by a high-flying quadruple tailwhip on the 27-feet quarterpipe for 87.66 points and a strong bronze medal finish. Saturday’s bronze medal brings the X games count to six medals (two gold, one silver and three bronze) for the 33-year-old from Redlands, California, who is also a regular on the Nitro Circus Live tour.
Overall, striking gold on Day One of X Games Shanghai marks a great start for team Monster Energy with much more to come on Day Two.
Stay tuned for more action popping off from X Games Shanghai as the high-octane weekend concludes on Sunday with BMX Street, Moto X Best Whip, as well as Skateboard Big Air and Men’s Skateboard Street.