Australian teenager Arisa Trew boosts Olympic skateboard hopes with Shanghai gold

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Australia;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Australia</a>'s Arisa Trew in action during the women's park skateboarding final at the Olympic qualifier series in Shanghai.</span><span>Photograph: Tyrone Siu/Reuters</span>

Teenager Arisa Trew’s star continues to rise after the Australian skateboarder won gold in the women’s park final at the Olympic qualifier series in Shanghai. The 14-year-old, who is bidding to win a place at the Games later this year, now sits in second place in the world rankings and in a strong position to stamp her ticket to Paris.

Trew was joined on the podium in Shanghai by compatriot and Tokyo Games gold medallist Keegan Palmer, who finished in the men’s park event in second place. Kieran Woolley, Chloe Covell and Ruby Trew also achieved top eight placings in a boost to their own qualifying hopes.

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The event in China was the first of a two-legged knockout competition which concludes in Budapest next month. The top 20 skaters per discipline (park or street) and gender will then be selected to compete at the Paris Olympics, with a maximum of three per country allowed.

Trew, who was named as action sportsperson of the year at last month’s prestigious Laureus Award after becoming the first female skater to land a 720 in competition, held off world No 1 Hiraki Kokona in the final to secure gold.

She said coming up against athletes such as the Japanese is helping raise the level of skating, as competition heats up with just two months to go before the Olympics get under way.

“It’s really good having skaters like Kokona and all the other girls in the heat just pushing each other because it makes everyone land their runs and get more competitive, but in a really good environment because we’re all friends,” she said.

“I’m just really happy with how I went each day here and I’m really happy with the result I got today. I guess my secret is just to try my best, to have fun and then just commit to everything in the competition.

“This has given me a massive boost for Paris. I would love to get to the Olympics, and I’d be so stoked to do it. I’d love to get into the final if I do get there.”

In the men’s park final Palmer overcame a fall on his first run to take silver ahead of Jagger Eaton of the US. Fellow Australian Kieran Woolley finished fourth.

“I am beyond stoked, I can’t believe it,” Palmer said. “When you finally have a contest where you’re not injured and you can give 110% it’s awesome. While it was still a little sloppy I’ll take it. This gives me a lot of confidence that I can still do it. It’s been a year and a half of injuries and having to pull out of contests, so this is great for the mental side of things.”

Palmer will head to Budapest ranked fourth, with Woolley seventh and Keefer Wilson 11th. Ruby Trew, no relation to Arisa, sits in sixth in the women’s park rankings, while Covell is ranked fourth in the women’s street category.