Tokyo Olympics Skateboarding preview: USA's Nyjah Houston, Japan's women stars in focus on debut

The general perception about the skateboarding is going to change as its gains legitimacy and will attract bigger audience after its debut in the Olympics.

Californian Nyjah Huston is one of the world's high profile skateboarders and is a favourite to win men's street category. (AP   -  AP

Skateboarding gets a chance to shrug off its image as the sports for rebels and free spirits after its inclusion in the Summer Olympics.

The general perception about the sport is going to change as its gains legitimacy and will attract bigger audience, an opportunity for expansive growth after its debut in the Olympics.

A bunch of teenagers and a few veterans are set to dazzle Ariake Urban Sports Park and attract eyeballs especially from the young audiences when the events start on Thursday.

For the record, the competitions will be held across four events mainly in park and street events in men's and women's sections. Already the 13-year-old Sky Brown (Great Britain) and 14-year-old Lilly Stoephasius (Germany) have become the youngest ones from their respective countries to compete in the Olympics. Sky Brown, a bronze medallist  in the 2019 World Championships, is a leading medal contender in the park event.

WATCH:

Britain's youngest summer Olympian had endured broken bones and fractured skull to compete in Tokyo. Most of the skateboarders started the sports with no obvious Olympic aim, however, for some of the established stars on the circuit, competing and winning at the Summer Olympics is a natural evolution. The Californian Nyjah Huston is one of the world's high profile skateboarders and is a favourite to win men's street category.

The 26-year-old with multiple sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike, Monster Energy , Mountain Dew and Doritos is the most successful skateboarder in history of X Games with 19 medals and is a little nervous as he takes a shot at Olympic glory. Japan's 21-year-old Yuto Horigome and his team-mate Sora Shirai can turn out to be Nyjah's party spoilers.

READ: Tokyo Olympics Cycling: Richard Carapaz wins gold in thrilling finish to road race

Yuto is the current world champion. On the park side, top ranked Heimana Reynolds and number two Cory Juneau from the USA are the favourites. Brazil's Luiz Francisco, the third ranked skater in the world, can pull off a surprise.

In the women's section Japan has three of the world's top six ranked park skaters in Misugu Okamoto (No. 1), Sakura Yosozumi (No. 2) and Kokona Hiraki (No. 6). However, the trio will have to watch out for Brazilians Pamela Rosa and Rayssa Leal and Britain's teenage sensation Sky Brown.

Host's Aori Nishimura, a former X Games gold medallist and world number three, carries her nation's hopes in women's street competition. American Mariah Duran is another contender in the same event.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :