Cui Chenxi became China’s youngest Asian Games gold medalist on Wednesday after the 13-year-old skateboarder won the women’s street event on day four of competition in Hangzhou.
With an eye-catching performance featuring several “Ollies” and a huge move off a high rail, which several of her competitors avoided, Cui took gold ahead of compatriot Zeng Wenhui, 18, with Japanese 16-year-old Miyu Ito taking bronze.
“I did quite well today,” Cui said modestly.
Cui, who hails from China’s eastern Shandong province, only took up skateboarding in 2020 when China’s Covid restrictions meant she could not practice rollerblading, which she began as a 3-year-old.
The street competition involves skaters performing daring tricks on a course that has features that resemble an urban environment including rails and gaps.
In bright, warm and humid conditions, which felt even hotter because of the skate park’s concrete jungle nature, scores of dragonflies shared air time with the competitors as they performed their tricks.
The women’s skaters did two “runs” followed by five individual “tricks.” Each athlete’s highest scoring run and two highest scoring tricks were then added together to reach a final score.
Margielyn Didal, who won gold for the Philippines at the 2018 Asian Games, is still only 24 yet she seemed like a veteran with all her competitors in the final 18 or under.
With protective equipment required for competitors under 18, Didal was the only athlete in the final not forced to wear a helmet of padding to protect her knees.
“I don’t feel old because I’m also a bit childish, I just want to mess around,” she said, after an injury in the final meant she finished last of the eight skaters.
“But I feel kind of left out because everyone is wearing helmets and knee pads.”