PLG takes Skate Vert, Morgan Wade takes BMX Park, and more!
By Brooke Geery
On Saturday fans were treated to twice the action at the LG Action Sports World Championships, with two sessions punctuating the day. Things started off early with the skate street prelims. An international field took to the same course used for BMX and Inline, but this time much of the action was focused on the smaller side of the course. It was here skaters could get down technical tricks on the hubba ledges and flat bar. The day belonged to the skaters from Brazil, with the youngest skater from the Southern Hemisphere, 19-year-old Danilo do Rosario, rolling into the finals in first. Wagner Ramos and Greg Lutzka qualified second and third, respectively.
Next was the high flying action of inline vert, where the average air thrown by the skaters earning a spot on the podium was around ten feet. Takeshi Yasutoko finished his season undefeated, earning another gold for his trophy case. In second was Tasmania’s Shane Yost and the elder Yasutoko brother, Eito, rounded out the top three.
Back on the street course, the BMX street finals proved to be one of the highlights of the day. It was not a runaway for Daniel Dhers like many had predicted, as he had some stiff competition. In his second run, local boy Morgan Wade threw down a flawless run, using the entire course and including several dangerous high speed transfers. Dhers had the advantage of going last, and although he stepped his run up, adding tricks such as a front flip over the spine, it was not quite enough to overtake Wade. Garrett Reynolds rounded out the podium.
To conclude the first session, American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis took to the stage for some of his beat boxing and vocal stylings. Though wearing similar neckwear to the previous evening’s performer, Kayne West, the similarities ended there. Lewis hung around before and after his performance to check out some of the action.
The end of the first session was just the beginning, because Saturday was a double feature. Session two got started with Inline Street finals. Twenty riders had already been eliminated, and the field was set with only the best skaters for the men’s and women’s street finals. The ladies went first, The ladies were skating hard, and although the favorite Fabiola da Silva attempted a few backflips, Martina Svobodova won the gold. Jenna Downing took silver and da Silva had to settle for third. On the men’s side, Chris Haffey blew away the competition by five full points to win the event. Thailand’s Jeerasak Tassorn took second and Florida’s Alex Broskow filled the rest of the podium.
The excitement was high as Skate Vert finals got underway. The stadium was nearly at capacity, and if prelims were any indication, this would be quite a show. And the skaters were going all out, trying their hardest tricks. There were multiple 720s, a kickflip Mctwist from Danny Mayer and some stylish lip tricks by none other than Bob Burnquist. To make the podium though, took a flawless run, punctuated by big tricks and bigger air. Pierre-Luc Gagnon actually won the competition with his first run, and the rest of the time, everyone else scrambled to keep up. Taking the silver medal was 16-year-old Alex Perelson, who threw down some of the highest 540s of the competition. Andy Macdonald also took home a medal in third.
Although the freestyle motocross demos throughout the day were deafeningly noisy, the loudest part of the day came at the end, when Ludacris took the stage. Fans were treated to an hour-long set of thumping base and all of Ludacris’s hits. The action and music at the LG Action Sports Champsionships continues Sunday with BMX Vert, Skateboard Street, Amatuer Skateboarding and a performance by Cartel.