SKATEBOARD Preview: Olympic qualifying spots up for grabs at Park World Championships

Britain's 11-year-old skateboard sensation, Sky Brown (Photo: World Skate/Pablo Vaz)

Skateboarding is a young sport, and so it will be just the fourth World Park Championships that are set to start on Thursday in Sao Paulo (BRA), as the sport moves toward its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020.

The top three finishers in the men’s and women’s Park competition will qualify for Tokyo 2020. That’s a small segment of the qualifying program, as most of the slots – 16 – will come from the World Skateboarding Olympic Rankings as of 1 June 2020.

A total of 160 riders from 32 countries are entered in Sao Paolo. Here are the World Skate rankings going into the Worlds:

Men:
1. 47,300 ~ Heimana Reynolds (USA): 2018 World Champs silver medalist
2. 40,000 ~ Pedro Barrios (BRA): 2018 World Champion; 2016-17 silver medalist
3. 33,500 ~ Luz Francisco (BRA)
4. 28.700 ~ Cory Juneau (USA): 2017 Worlds bronze medalist
5. 18,400 ~ Ivan Federico (ITA): 2016 Worlds bronze medalist
6. 16,050 ~ Keegan Palmer (AUS): 2018 Worlds bronze medalist
7. 15,380 ~ Alex Sorgente (USA): 2016 World Champion
8. 11,500 ~ Jagger Eaton (USA)
9. 7,564 ~ Hericles Fagundes Galle (BRA)
10. 6,690 ~ Jaime Mateu (ESP)

Women:
1. 80,000 ~ Misugu Okamoto (JPN)
2. 33,200 ~ Sakura Yosozumi (JPN): 2018 World Champion
3. 24,000 ~ Lizzie Armanto (FIN)
4. 20,300 ~ Kisa Nakamura (JPN): 2018 Worlds silver; 2016-17 Worlds bronze
5. 15,740 ~ Kokona Hiraki (JPN)
6. 13,200 ~ Bryce Wettstein (USA)
7. 13,150 ~ Yndiara Asp (BRA)
8. 11,980 ~ Mami Tezuka (JPN)
9. 10,400 ~ Sky Brown (GBR)
10. 8,640 ~ Poppy Starr Olsen (AUS): 2018 Worlds bronze medalist

Okamoto’s huge lead in the women’s rankings comes from winning both the Dew Tour 5-star in Long Beach, California and the ISO 5-star in Nanjing (CHN).

American snowboarding star Shaun White, 33, the 2006-10-18 Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe gold medalist and a two-time X Games Skateboarding Vert winner, is among those looking to reserve a spot for the 2020 Games.

Qualifications will take place on Friday; the women’s finals will be on Saturday and the men’s finals on Sunday. Look for results here.