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Nyjah Huston three-peats as world skateboard champion ahead of Olympic debut

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Nyjah Huston has been the world’s preeminent skateboarder for the better part of a decade. Now, he goes into the Olympic year as the three-time reigning world champion.

Huston, a 24-year-old who made his X Games debut at 11 and earned his first X Games title at 16, won his fourth overall world street title in Sao Paulo on Sunday. He topped an eight-man final field combining scores from competition runs and best trick attempts for 36.9 points. Huston had the top scores between two runs and the single highest-scoring trick.

Japan’s Yuto Horigome took second with 36.6 points, followed by Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro at 36.2.

Earlier, Brazilians Pamela Rosa and Rayssa Leal went one-two in the women’s event. The top American was Mariah Duran in fifth.

Huston already led the U.S. Olympic qualifying rankings going into the event and looks destined to make the team next year. No more than three Americans can qualify per gender per event in skateboarding, which makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

The U.S. has the reigning men’s world champs in both Olympic events. Hawaiian Heimana Reynolds repeated as world champion in the park event last week, also in Sao Paulo.

Huston won the world title less than two weeks after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace at a February 2017 house party altercation, according to NBC Los Angeles.

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Heimana Reynolds wins skateboard world title, nears an Olympic goal from age 10

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In February 2009, a 10-year-old Heimana Reynolds was profiled by his local NBC TV station on Oahu.

“My goal is to become a professional skateboarder and compete in the X Games and the Olympics,” he said, according to the report.

Skateboarding would not be added to the Olympics for another seven years. But here Reynolds is, age 21, having just won the world title in park, one of two skateboarding events that debut at the Games in Tokyo.

Reynolds, who wasn’t named to the four-man U.S. national team in March, consolidated his lead in the Olympic qualification rankings by prevailing over a pair of Brazilians in Sao Paulo on Sunday.

A shirtless Reynolds scored 88 points in the final, beating Luis Francisco (85.50) and Pedro Quintas (85).

No more than three Americans can make the Olympic team in the event, which will make it difficult if three-time Olympic halfpipe snowboarding champion Shaun White decides to continue his skateboarding pursuit. White was the sixth-best American, bowing out in the semifinals in 13th place on Saturday in just his second contest since returning to competitive skating last year.

Back to Reynolds. He grew up on the North Shore and attended the Punahou School, where Barack Obama is the most famous alum. His first name is Tahitian, reportedly referring to the power of Jesus’ crown of thorns.

Reynolds, the son of a surfer, proved a natural on land. After pre-teen media profiles, he blossomed into a world silver medalist last year. He won an Olympic qualifier in China in July to take the top spot in the Olympic rankings despite a best career X Games finish of sixth.

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Sky Brown, 11 years old, is third at world skateboarding championships ahead of Olympic debut

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Sky Brown, an 11-year-old who appears en route to becoming the youngest female Summer Olympian in 50 years, took third at the world skateboarding championships in Sao Paulo on Saturday. The sport debuts at the Olympics in Tokyo.

Brown posted her highest score of her four finals runs in the last round, 58.13 points, of the park event. It was not enough to overtake Japanese Misugu Okamoto and Sakura Yosozumi. The new world champion Okamoto is 13 years old. Yosozumi is 17.

Brown has been raised in Japan by a Japanese mother and a British father. The 2018 Dancing with the Stars: Juniors winner appeared in a Nike “Dream Crazier” ad with Simone BilesSerena Williams and Chloe Kim in February.

She has not clinched an Olympic spot yet but is well on her way as the qualifying season continues.

She turns 12 years old just before the Tokyo Olympics begin and would be the youngest Olympian since Romanian rowing coxswain Carlos Front at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

She would be the youngest female Olympian since Chinese ice dancer Liu Luyang in 1988 and the youngest female Summer Olympian since Puerto Rican swimmer Liana Vicens in 1968, according to the OlyMADMen.

The Tokyo Games feature four skateboarding events — men’s and women’s street and park.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

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