【Tokyo Olympics, Coverage from Hokkaido Venue】
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics from July 23, 2021 onward.
In Hokkaido, Sapporo will host the marathon, race walking, and football events.
These articles bring you the feelings and reactions of Hokkaido residents.
【Tokyo Olympics, Coverage from Hokkaido Venue (5)】Full-on ‘Hiraki style’! Technically difficult tricks performed with originality in the Women’s Skateboarding
A ‘nose grind’ is an original trick that uses the structure at the edge of the course. On August 4, Hiraki Kokona (WHYDAH GROUP, resident of Tomakomai) won the silver medal in the Women’s Park Skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympic Games. With a performance packed with tricks characteristic of the 12-year-old skater, Hiraki became Japan’s youngest ever Olympic medalist. “It was great to win silver medal by skating in my own style,” she smiled.
Hiraki’s specialty is her ‘grind-type’ tricks in which the metal fittings that connect the wheels to the board are scraped in a grinding fashion on the edges if the course. There are few female athletes who can do this, and Hiraki is known throughout the world as the best when it comes to two types of technically difficult ‘nose grinds’ in which only the metal fittings on the front of the board are used.
From the qualifying round, Hiraki succeeded in pulling off technically difficult tricks, such as nose grinds and air (aerial tricks) that involved rotating the board and then riding it again while in the air. What’s more, she mixed these tricks with others that utilized the edges of the course, not used by other competitors, highlighting her originality.
In the final, Hiraki increased the technical difficulty of the tricks compared to those she used in qualifying, placing 2nd with 58.05 points at the end of the first run. In the second run she included two nose grinds and increased her score to 59.04. In the 3rd and final run, Hiraki was chasing top-placed Yosozumi’s score of 60.09, and “tried to raise the level” but failed with a nose grind in the early stages of her performance.
Hiraki is the youngest Japanese athlete ever to compete in the summer Olympic Games. Before the Olympics, she said “I want to get onto the podium by doing tricks that no one else does.” The highest part of the podium was beyond her reach but Hiraki managed to skate freely and express her own style on such a huge stage.
After walking the walk at the podium, Hiraki then talked the talk at the medalists’ press conference. “The silver medal is heavy. I want to hang it on the necks of everyone who was involved, and the members of my family, too” she said as she savored her happiness.