Ayumu Hirano, the snowboard halfpipe silver medalist at the last two Olympics and primary Shaun White rival, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in skateboarding, according to Japanese media.
A message has been sent to Japan’s federation seeking confirmation.
Hirano, 22, entered the final international Olympic qualifier in park — one of two disciplines for skateboarding’s Olympic debut this summer — with the most ranking points among Japanese men. He was the highest-placing Japanese rider in qualifying, 26th, and none made the final, according to reports.
Hirano ranks 24th overall in Olympic skateboarding qualifying, according to World Skate’s current standings. Twenty riders will compete in the Olympics per discipline. Japan gets at least one place in the Olympic field as host nation.
World Skate has not confirmed the athletes who have clinched Olympic quota spots for themselves. By its current listed rankings, some Americans, led by world champion Heimana Reynolds, mathematically clinched Olympic berths before this weekend’s park finale, the Dew Tour in Des Moines.
More than 100 athletes have competed in both the Summer and Winter Games. American Lauryn Williams is the only one to win medals in both since 2000, doing so in track and field and bobsled.
In PyeongChang, then-5-foot-3 Hirano became the first snowboarder to land back-to-back double cork 1440s at an Olympics, taking the lead in the second of three runs.
But in the last run, White attempted the same combination — for the first time in his competition career — and landed it to win — 97.75 to 95.25.
Hirano competed in the 2019 World Skateboarding Championships, finishing 17th. White also competed at those worlds, placing 13th before giving up his bid to become a Summer Olympian and returning to snowboarding.
In February, Hirano competed in and won his first top-level snowboard contest in three years.
In 2014, Hirano became the second-youngest man to win a Winter Olympic medal, according to Olympedia.org.
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