The most recent Olympic qualifier event, the Oi STU Open, wrapped up in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, on November 17.
Image above: Tommy Fynn, Howard grind. Photos courtesy of World Skate.
A handful of Aussie Olympic contenders travelled over to compete, including Tommy Fynn, Keegan Palmer, Kieran Woolley, Poppy Starr Olsen and Taniah Meyers. The event itself was interrupted by bouts of rain, and Keegan Palmer got crook before the finals, but the competition was eventually completed, and this is how the Aussies came out:
Poppy Starr Olsen: 5th – Women’s Park.
Tommy Fynn: 10th – Men’s Street.
Keegan Palmer: 13th – Men’s Park.
Taniah Myers: 20th – Women’s Park.
Kieran Woolley: 38th – Men’s Park.
Kieran Woolley is on his way to compete alongside Keegan Walker in Men's Park at the 2020 Games.
Most notably, each time one of these Olympic qualifying events goes down, the world rankings change. The most up-to-date world rankings can be found at The Boardr, for both street and park. But it’s important to note that the top 20 skaters in each category won’t necessarily be the 20 skaters who compete in Tokyo 2020.
As Chris Middlebrook explained when we interviewed him recently about how Olympic skateboarding will work, there will be 20 competitors in each event (Men’s Street, Women’s Street, Men’s Park, Women’s Park). But, there can only be three skaters from each country per event.
So, for example, right now in the Men’s Park category, Team USA has 10 skateboarders in the top 20 World Rankings. Only three Americans will be able to compete in each event, so seven of those American skaters will be pushed out, affording more international diversity to the competition. Kieran Woolley is currently ranked at 25 in the world, but by correcting the results to comply with national limits, he would sneak into the top 20.
Of course, there are plenty more Olympic Qualifying events that will go down (including a Street League in Melbourne, February 2020) before then, and there are plenty of skateboarders actively working to break their way into the top 20. The results will change many times over before the Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 24, 2020.
For anyone interested in more on skateboarding at the Olympics, Dave Carnie wrote up another insightful piece for TWS covering the good, the bad, and the "dumb": like the chance that the Olympic’s golden boy, Shaun White, could compete…
Poppy Starr Olsen plants an invert firmly in Rio and is now ranked 4th in the world.