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Photo: Ina Fried

TOKYO — Two teenagers and a 12-year-old girl swept the podium for the inaugural women's park skateboarding event on Wednesday, with Japanese 19-year-old Sakura Yosozumi clinching gold.

Why it matters: While Yosozumi won with her high-flying acrobatics amid the brutal midday heat, her 60.09 was only a point ahead of 12-year-old Kokona Hiraki, also of Japan. Hiraki and 13-year-old British bronze medalist Sky Brown are among the youngest Olympic medalists of all time.

Gold medal winner Sakura Yosozumi, getting ready to start a run in Wednesday's park skateboarding final. Photo: Ina Fried
  • Hiraki, at 12 years and 343 days old, is the first Olympic athlete to win a medal before turning 13 since 1936, when France's Noel Vandernotte got a bronze in rowing.
  • Brown is the youngest Brit to win a summer Olympics medal.
  • Brown was born in Japan, meaning all three medalists were born in the country, the first time that has happened in a women's event.
  • This is Japan's third skateboarding medal.

What they're saying: Gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi said: "I hope skateboarding is going to be very popular in Japan because of the strong performances of the Japanese team.”

  • Bronze medalist Sky Brown: "It was unbelievable. Even right now it feels like a dream. It's insane. I'm so happy and so thankful and so proud of every one of the other girls, too."

On the ground: The competition was marked by both the participants' incredible tricks and tremendous showings of support for one another.

  • Brazilian teammates Dora Varella and Yndiara Asp embraced one another after a tough final run, several of competitors hoisted Japan's Misugu Okamoto in the air after she ended up fourth, and Yosozumi and Brown — close friends — celebrated their medal victories together.
Sky Brown, performing in the first-ever Olympic finals of women's park skateboarding on Wednesday. Photo: Ina Fried

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional details and photos, as well as comment from Yosozumi and Brown.

Go deeper

Aug 31, 2021 - Sports

U.S. Army vet Shawn Morelli rides to gold at Tokyo Paralympics

Team USA's Shawn Morelli at the Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan, on Aug. 25. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

U.S. Army veteran Shawn Morelli added to her Tokyo Paralympic Games medal count, when the defending champion won the women's cycling time trial C4 on Tuesday morning Japan time.

The big picture: Morelli won Team USA's first medal of the Tokyo Paralympics, with her silver medal performance in the women's C4 3000-meter individual pursuit last week. Morelli took up cycling three years after she lost her sight in her left eye in a 2007 Afghanistan bomb blast, which also left her with neck and nerve damage.

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China vows end to building coal-fired power plants abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Mary Altaffer - Pool/Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday that his country "will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad" and plans to boost support for clean energy in developing nations.

Why it matters: The pledge, if maintained, would mark a breakthrough in efforts to transition global power away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.

House Democrats strip Iron Dome money from government funding bill

Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Democrats on Tuesday stripped $1 billion for Israel's Iron Dome defense system from its short-term government funding bill after backlash from progressives, people familiar with the decision tell Axios.

Why it matters: There has never a situation where military aid for Israel was held up because of objections from members of Congress. While the funding will get a vote in its current defense bill, the clash underscores the deep divisions within the Democratic party over Israel.