Sports

Skateboarders hope Japan's historic gold medal will sway minds

For street skaters, run-ins with neighbours and security guards are annoyingly commonplace.

In Japan, where Yuto Horigome won the first Olympic gold awarded in skateboarding yesterday, the sport is still widely considered a public nuisance.

In an example of the sport's odd position in Japanese society, countless posters that read "Skating banned" were pasted to a fence at the Ariake Urban Park on Tokyo's waterfront, shielding locals from the competing skateboarders.

The signs were posted by a nearby school in an area that has wide avenues.

When asked about the posters, American Nyjah Huston, who lost to Horigome, told Reuters he hoped the sport's Olympic inception would make it more socially acceptable.

"Japan is quite strict when it comes to skateboarding," Yuma Nagase, 19, told AFP outside Komazawa Skate Park.

"It would be great if it could be more relaxed after this win." - AFP, REUTERS

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