The 2015 Skateboarding World Championships at the Kimberley Diamond Cup concluded today as 12 of the world’s best street skaters, from eight countries, competed for the world title and $100,000 top prize. Under the lights at the world class Kumba Skate Plaza, sold out, standing-room only crowds cheered wildly as the top skaters in the world competed in fierce, head-to-head battles.
The Top 12 skaters in order of their scores in the qualifiers were Luan Oliveira (Brazil), Nyjah Huston (USA), Yoshi Tanenbaum (USA), Chase Webb (USA), JS Lapierre (Montreal, Canada), Vincent Milou (France), Jost Arens (Germany), Tommy Fynn (Australia), Dlamini Dlamini (South Africa), Tyson Bowerbank (USA), Gustavo Servin (Mexico), TJ Rogers (Ontario, Canada).
The final heat put Luan Oliveira head-to-head with Nyjah Huston. The excitement in the air was palpable as the two faced off. The Kimberley, South Africa crowd was on its feet cheering throughout the intense five-minute battle.
“Congratulations to Nyjah – that was really hard. I thought I was going to pass out. I literally could not breathe,” said a still-winded Oliveira who collapsed on the course after the finals.
When the scores were tallied, just two points separated the final two (97.08 to 95.07). Huston edged out Oliveira by landing difficult rail tricks with few falls. While Luan had the best performance over the semi-finals and finals, he had several falls in the finals that made the difference.
“I am so pumped. It was great being back in South Africa,” said Huston. “I was bummed when I did not make the semi-finals last year, but this was one of the toughest heats I have ever skated. Luan is a great competitor and it t was exhausting. I’ll definitely be back next year as I love it here. It was a great contest.”
This year the World Skateboarding Federation, which sanctioned the Skateboarding World Championships, provided financial assistance to over 50 skaters to help them pay for travel expenses to South Africa. WSF is committed to supporting skateboarders around the world and is leading the charge to organize skateboarding in advance of its potential inclusion in the next Olympic Games.
“The 2015 World Skateboarding Championships were a huge success,” said Tim McFerran, CEO of World Skateboarding Grand Prix.
“We were excited to see eight countries represented in the top 12 this year, proving how many talented skaters there are all over the world. Each year we hold this contest to give skaters from any country an opportunity to compete on a professional level on a world class skatepark. This contest gives skaters the global exposure they need to attract fans and sponsors. With skateboarding being proposed for the 2020 Olympic Games, it’s more important than ever to support these international skaters, who don’t have the strong support we see in the US. We look forward to returning next year and seeing some new faces and countries as we continue to grow skateboarding and support skateboarders around the world.”
The final day of the World Skateboarding Championships kicked off with the South African Am Skateboarding World Championships and Top Grom Championships. The day then moved onto the South African Championships. Twenty six skaters competed in the finals by earning a top place in one of World Skateboarding Grand Prix’s nine qualifying events held throughout South Africa. The competitiors represented the best up and coming skaters in the nation, all between the ages of seven and 13 years old.
Seventeen-year old Brandon Valjalo from Kyalami, Johannesburg lifted the trophy as South African champion in the South African Street Championships. Valjalo went head to head with Cape Town’s Alan Marola in the finals. Walking off with a check for R 20,000, Valjalo said his victory was the highlight of a great week of skating. “I really enjoyed skating with all the pro skaters during the week. It was amazing to hang out with guys, who have been my idols, like Nyjah Huston.” Commenting on the potential inclusion of skateboarding in the 2020 Olympic Games, Valjalo admitted that it is a really exciting prospect. “It would be absolutely incredible to represent South Africa on an international level and to be skating with all my friends from all over the world.”
John Block, MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism in the Northern Cape, expressed his satisfaction with the 2015 event and deemed it a great success once again. “This year’s Kimberley Dia-mond Cup has been an unbelievable week and we are very proud to have hosted participants from across the globe. We have been particularly humbled by the great performances by three of our local Kimberley skateboarders. That was proof that skateboarding is just growing stronger and better in the province. We have once again showcased the Northern Cape as the destination of choice for adventure and extreme sports to a global audience. The addition of the FMX freestyle motocross shows has also proven to be extremely popular and added another dimension to the event.”
South African Street Championship results:
- Brandon Valjalo
- Alan Marola
- Allan Adams
- Kanya Spani
- Josh Chrisholm
- Yahn Horowitz
- Byron Rhoda
- Enwin Gallant
With the recent news that skateboarding is among the top contenders to be considered for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, this year’s world championships took on a special significance and many of the competitors were asked their thoughts on skateboarding in the Olympic Games.
The webcast of the 2015 Skateboarding World Championships at Kimberley Diamond Cup are available on demand at www.KimberleyDiamondCup.com.
Pro Street Finals Results & Cash Prizes
- Nyjah Huston (California – USA) $100,000
- Luan Oliveira (Brazil) $35,000
- JS Lapierre (Montreal, Canada) $12,000
- Yoshi Tanenbaum (Maryland – USA) $12,000
- Tommy Fynn (Australia) $4,000
- Vincent Milou (France) $4,000
- Chase Webb (California – USA) $4,000
- Jost Arens (Germany) $4,000
- TJ Rogers (Ontario, Canada) $2,000
- Dlamini Dlamini (South Africa) $2,000
- Gustavo Servin (Mexico) $2,000
- Tyson Bowerbank (USA) $2,000