Twelve-year-old Kokona Hiraki in women’s park skateboarding is set to become the youngest Japanese summer Olympian on record after finishing fifth at a Dew Tour event, the final Tokyo Olympics qualifier.
The Hokkaido native’s latest performance lifted her to third among Japanese skateboarders in the women’s Olympic qualifying ranking, which covers results of qualifiers since 2019.
“I was enjoying it just as usual. I wasn’t as nervous as always,” said Hiraki, who was fourth among Japanese in the qualifying ranking before providing four solid attempts on the day to book her ticket to the games.
According to the Japanese Olympic Committee, the record Hiraki is set to break belongs to female swimmer Yukari Takemoto, who took part in the 1968 Mexico Olympics at the age of 13.
Historians believe that ‘kyūjutsu’ – the ‘art of archery’ in Japanese – goes back as far as the stone age, with the earliest documented use of the bow occurring at the beginning of recorded history (around 500 B.C.).
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