Danny León and Naia Laso: Spanish skateboarding is covered in gold heading to Paris 2024 | Paris 2024 Olympic Games

If nothing goes wrong in the coming months, skateboarding will once again have Spanish representation at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. It will do so at the hands of two opposite figures: Danny León (29 years old, Madrid), a veteran of the discipline in Spain, and Naia Laso (15 years old, Bermeo), one of the greatest promises on the state scene. Both achieved unprecedented victories this weekend during the last stop of the world circuit in Dubai, capital of the United Arab Emirates. The two golds represent a new summit for Spanish skateboarding, which without having much structure or more tradition than its proliferation on the streets since the nineties, has already managed to enter four athletes into the Tokyo 2020 Games. The victories of León and Laso in the ‘park’ modality during the closing of the World Skate Tour (WST) also represents the ticket for the final phase of the pre-Olympic qualification tournament, which will be held in the coming months.

“It’s my first win (in WST). And it was my first final too. I feel incredible,” celebrated León, one of the most recognizable faces and one of the lucky few who has been able to dedicate himself to skateboarding full-time in Spain, even before the emergence of Olympic scholarships and sponsorships. “Right now I’m on cloud nine. I still don’t believe what’s happening. What just happened. And I think it will take me days and weeks to assimilate it. But I’m super happy. “I have no words,” added the skater from Móstoles in statements collected by ‘Olympics.com‘.

León took his first victory on the world circuit with a score of 90.93 achieved in the first round of the final. The rest of the participants failed to overcome the 90 barrier and the Madrid native ended up winning ahead of the current world champion, the American Gavin Bottger, and the Dane Viktor Solmunde. Laso, who trains every afternoon after going to class, scored 93.46 in the last round of the event and beat the Japanese Hiraki Kokona, current world champion and Olympic runner-up (91.60), and Hasegawa Mizuho, ​​13 years (88.91). She “she was super nervous and just wanted to finish the round. I was already happy with that,” acknowledged the Spanish skateboarding prodigy after approaching perfection in the final.

The Basque skater, who started in the sport when she was seven, began to excel early in national competitions, and at 12 she was proclaimed Spanish champion. At 14 she finished fifth in her first World Cup, and now she takes the definitive step towards the elite of the ramps with her victory in Dubai. “I trusted Naia a lot, I knew she was going to win. “She has the level,” León celebrated. “She didn’t believe it, but I’ve been watching how she skates for a long time, how she evolves, how she learns. You tell her a trick and she does it in less than ten attempts… And we knew that she could be at the top,” concluded her teammate.

The final phase of the Olympic qualification will be held in two events in the cities of Shanghai (China, May 16-19) and Budapest (Hungary, June 20-23), with the participation of the 44 athletes with the best position in the WST ranking by modality and gender, who will fight for the final 22 tickets for Paris 2024. The result in Dubai will count for the final ranking, which represents a great advance in León and Laso’s options to confirm their presence in Paris 2024.

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