OQS Shanghai: Finals Results!

Written by Niall Neeson

Finals Sunday in Shanghai began with Women’s Park, and while nothing is written in matters related to skateboarding, Australia’s Arisa Trew entered the venue as the pundit’s favourite based upon her outrageous repertoire all week long and the fact she has more trick gas in the tank than anyone else.

Although Brazilians are no strangers to Park finals- Raicca Ventura made the previous 2- the highest-placed today was experiencing her first. Isa Pacheco from the island of Florianopolis off the coast of Santa Catarina state shook off a restart necessitated by a misfiring clock to claim 4th with her first run, while Sao Paulo’s Dora Varella took her second 6th place after doing likewise in Argentina earlier on the Road To Paris. Both can be well pleased with their efforts here today.

Similarly, America’s Bryce Wettstein who squeaked into these finals on the slimmest of margins gave the best of herself with two full runs including the lesser spotted Caballerial judo air for 7th place.

Arisa Trew back smith WST Street WCH OQS shanghai Atiba Jefferson 8

Ph:  Atiba

Uncharacteristically, Tokyo Olympic champ Sakura Yosozumi only completed one run but it was enough for 3rd and she gamely tried a grabless 540 ollie in the deep end on her last run but is not yet back to her dominating self as her road back from injury continues. Kokona Hiraki was once again faultless but interestingly did not try to take advantage of the door left open by Arisa Trew by adding to her second run whilst a point adrift, instead electing to replicate her second. Presumably she hoped a cleaned-up run might bump her up a couple of points, but it scored less. As for Arisa, what can be said: not only was she an assured winner here but she must be all but nailed-on for Paris if she can just maintain and avoid injury between now and then. She is just too good in too many ways. 14 years old. Remarkable.

“It’s just so crazy. Both Kokona and Sakura are such good skaters and Olympic medallists, so it’s just really cool because they’re both amazing skaters and they really push me. It’s so fun to skate with them.”

-Arisa Trew

womens park final

Attention next turned to Men’s Street. The one thing you hope for in the Street format is a little bit of dramatic tension. Sometimes there can be a closing-out early on where plans collapse and the result becomes a foregone conclusion, but here things went right down to the wire with a lot of unexpected bumps on the road. Foremost among those might be skateboarding’s biggest name Nyjah Huston going into the Best Trick phase fully 35 points off the pace and still coming in a respectable 5th after staging a late rally for fun while nursing a hurt ankle. Coming in south of him on the leaderboard was the fantastic Brazilian Giovanni Vianna who had a great contest up until Trick 2, Kairi Netsuke who won outright at the last time of asking and Portugal’s Gustavo Ribeiro who failed to bag at least two Best Tricks for the first time ever. He will doubtless be disappointed because he looked like a potential winner up until then. Toa Sasaki was looking locked in for third place until Chris Joslin- who up until now had only ever made one WST final- had the Best Trick section of his life. Talk about timing your surge.

Chris Josliin backside 360 WST Street WCH OQS shanghai Atiba Jefferson 4

Ph: Atiba

Above him came the ever-improving Japanese youngster Ginwoo Onodera, who must be wondering what it will take for him to finally come out on top, and America’s Jagger Eaton- who didn’t even need his last Best Trick attempt to secure victory. The Arizona native who was raised at his parents’ skatepark now eyed a tantalising, unprecedented double if he could replicate that feat in Park just two hours later.

mens strasse final

Well, it turns out he couldn’t, quite- but he nearly did, and it took two transition purists to deny him. With only three completed runs in the first round, the prospect of a blowout loomed over Men’s Park here, before Tate Carew kickstarted the contest to life at the bottom of the second courtesy of what would prove to be the winning run. You rather sensed that a win would eventually come his way since he emerged as a virtual unknown at WST Sharjah back in January 2023. Even with an ankle brace and wearing slip-ons, he has incredible flow and although he only completed one run it was enough.

Tate Carew stale fish tweak air WST Street WCH OQS shanghai kenji Haruta 16

Ph: Kenji

Brazil might come away somewhat disappointed that although they matched the USA in putting three riders through into the final, they emerged with just a single full run between them. That was Pedro Barros’ opener, and was enough for 5th. The only other nation in the final was Australia, who were assured a podium place come what may courtesy of not one but two superb Kieran Woolley runs, before he was edged out by his teammate Keegan Palmer. The preternaturally talented current Olympic champion left it until his last attempt to complete a run, during which he decided not to gamble on the final trick which had deserted him on the previous round. Calculating that he had probably already done enough to secure a bump up the leaderboard, his instincts proved correct and he shot up into second place regardless, leaving Jagger Eaton in third having led until the halfway point. Skateboarding is the hardest game in the world, straight up.

Mens Park Final

And if that wasn’t enough drama for one day, the whole OQS Shanghai jamboree concluded with one of the most unpredictable contests so far: Women’s Street. What a difference a day makes: Rayssa Leal came into Shanghai having placed 8th at the last event in Dubai and arrived at the final lying 5th. Today she cleaned up, taking the lead with a storming second run including a frontside bluntslide shove-it out (on a big 9-stair handrail! In a run!) and never looked back despite a late challenge from Liz Akama. Liz’s final trick, a front feeble front 180 out, came within just over half a point of Rayssa’s tally, but taken on balance the result there was just. The boss is back. Rounding out the podium was the spirited Coco Yoshizawa who’s best-ever result adds to a steady little grip of final results for her since Lausanne back in September. Although not the best-known of the Japanese crew, she is showing consistency when it matters.

Rayssa Leal front blunt WST Street WCH OQS shanghai Atiba Jefferson 16

Ph: Atiba

Lying just outside the top three came America’s Poe Pinson gracing her first final. As the eldest finalist she was a lot more composed and smiled throughout despite forgetting what Best Trick she wanted to attempt on Round 4. As the only skater to attack the gap to rails, three scores in the 80’s did enough to earn her a tidy stack of points at just the right time. Next in 5th came China’s Chenxi Cui in her best result to date and third final back-to-back. She will have hoped for a better Run section, but nonetheless with the points on offer here there are worse times to have your best-ever result. The final three positions were occupied by great skateboarders who had off-days in their Best Trick sections and will doubtless be crestfallen so let’s not add to that disappointment here save to say Budapest offers the chance to redeem everything. As we all know: in skateboarding, anything can happen.

birds strasse final

Many thanks to our hosts here in Shanghai for the hospitality extended to all the skateboarders and staff.

To Budapest we go, as the Road To Paris continues.