Ayumu Hirano, Shaun White’s rival on snow, qualifies for Summer Olympics

Ayumu Hirano, silver medalist in snowboard halfpipe at the last two Olympic Games and in the primary Shaun white rival, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in skateboarding, according to Japanese media.

A message has been sent to the Japanese federation asking for confirmation.

Hirano, 22, competed in the International Olympic Park Qualifying Final – one of the two disciplines for the Olympic skateboarding debut this summer – with the most points among Japanese men. He was the highest-ranked Japanese driver in qualifying, 26th, and none made it to the final, according to reports.

Hirano ranks 24th overall in the Olympic Skateboard Qualifiers, according to the current World Skate rankings. Twenty riders will compete in the Olympic Games per discipline. Japan gets at least one place in the Olympic field as a host country.

World Skate has not confirmed which athletes have clinched Olympic quota spots for themselves. By its current ranking, some Americans, led by the world champion Heimana reynolds, mathematically secured Olympic spots ahead of this weekend’s park final, the Dew Tour in Des Moines.

Over 100 athletes participated in the Summer and Winter Games. American Lauryn Williams is the only one to win medals in both since 2000, in track and field and bobsleigh.

In PyeongChang, the then 5-foot-3 Hirano became the first snowboarder to land back-to-back double cork 1440 at the Olympics, taking the lead in the second of three heats.

But in the final round, White attempted the same combination – for the first time in his competitive career – and landed it to win – 97.75 to 95.25.

Hirano competed at the 2019 World Skateboarding Championships, finishing 17th. White also competed at these world championships, placing 13th before dropping his bid to become a summer Olympian and returning to snowboarding.

In February, Hirano competed and won his first high-level snowboarding competition in three years.

In 2014, Hirano became the second youngest man to win an Olympic winter medal, according to Olympedia.org.

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