Skateboard ace Trew blitzes Olympic field

Gold Coast teen Arisa Trew has her eyes firmly set on Paris 2024 after an outstanding gold-medal performance in the women’s park final at the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai.

Trew led the way for the Aussies, with Tokyo park gold medallist Keegan Palmer taking out silver in the men’s event.

Kieran Woolley, Chloe Covell and Ruby Trew (no relation) also achieved top-eight placings to help their world rankings.

Trew’s second run (91.16) gave the 14-year-old the win over Tokyo 2020 silver medallist and Japanese world No.1 Hiraki Kokona (90.18).

“I’m just really happy with how I went each day here and I’m really happy with the result I got today,” Trew said.

“I guess my secret is just to try my best, to have fun and then just commit to everything in the competition.

“I just imagine that I’m still in practice and I’m just having heaps of fun because skating is fun.

“This has given me a massive boost for Paris. I would love to get to the Olympics, and I’d be so stoked to do it. I’d love to get into the final if I do get there.”

Trew burst on to the world stage last year aged 13 when she became the first female skater to land a 720 – two full rotations in mid-air – in competition.

She was honoured at world sport’s biggest awards gala, the Laureus World Sports Awards, last month for her pioneering feat.

There was a nail-biting finish in the men’s park final, with Palmer producing a 92.30 in his final round to edge out American Jagger Eaton for the silver medal.

Australian teammate Woolley, who finished fifth in Tokyo, placed fourth.

First in qualifying, Palmer fell on his first run while attempting a fakie to fakie five switch, but he still managed to collect a high score that put him in the top five.

After an early fall on his second attempt, it all came down to the third run and he didn’t disappoint, with a complete trick-packed run to move on to the podium.

“While it was still a little sloppy I’ll take it,” Palmer said.

“This gives me a lot of confidence that I can still do it. It’s been a year and a half of injuries and having to pull out of contests, so this is great for the mental side of things.”

OQS Shanghai is the first part of a two-legged knockout system, which concludes in Budapest from June 18-23.

Only three skaters from one National Olympic Committee (NOC) can compete at the Games, meaning that for countries where there is depth, the battle will not just be to finish in the top 20. They must also finish in the top three.

Skaters have been accruing rankings points during the world series over the past two years, but points on offer in China and Hungary are worth nearly three times more.

Following OQS Shanghai, Trew is currently in second place, with Ruby Trew sixth.

Palmer is ranked fourth, Woolley seventh and Keefer Wilson 11th.

In the street event Chloe Covell is ranked fourth.


Melissa Woods
(Australian Associated Press)


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