Shanghai, China Shanghai was treated to a full day of exciting competition as the KIA X Games Asia kicked into high gear at the KIC Jiangwan Sports Center today, with more than 17,000 passionate fans cheering on the competitors in the Men's Speed Climbing and the Skateboard Street finals.
In a nail-biting contest, defending champion Abu Dzar Yulianto of Indonesia had to settle for the silver after a narrow loss in the final against Russia's Sergey Sinitsyn in the Men's Speed Climbing event. Yulianto looked set to repeat his previous victory after consistent runs in the preliminary and semi-final rounds, but a minor slip on the wall in the final cost him precious milliseconds, and the gold medal.
"The climbing wall was very difficult and challenging, but I am pleased with my performance," said Yulianto. "The support from the crowd has been fantastic and they've been behind me all the way since I got here."
The bronze medal was won by Russian Sergey Abdrakhmanov, who beat Indonesia's Galar Pandu Asmoro for the third place in the men's category.
Team captain Sinitsyn was delighted with the Russian team's performance, having won both the men's and women's speed climbing events. His compatriot Valentina Yurina clinched the gold in yesterday's women's Speed Climbing Final, after beating Urkraine's Olena Ryepko.
"The Indonesian climbers are a very strong bunch of guys, and very tough opponents," said Sinitsyn. "This is my first time competing in the KIA X Games Asia, but the crowd here is one of the best. I would love to be back again next year."
The day's competition finished off with some of the world's top professional skateboarders hitting the street course in the Skate Street final. American Austen Seaholm took home the gold after a flawless first run that set the pace for the entire field. Scoring a solid 88.00 in his first run, Seaholm put the pressure on Brazil's Fabrizio Santos and Carlos de Andrade who each also scored well on their first run.
While Santos and deAndrade had next to perfect second runs, they still could not top the first run score of Seaholm. Santos just edged out deAndrade after landing a more technical trick over the gap, a Caballerial 360. Santos won the silver with a best run score of 83.67 and de Andrade earned the bronze with a score of 82.67.
"I never try to plan out my full run and I knew it was going to be good after I landed my first four tricks clean," said Seaholm. "This is my first time in Shanghai and I could not be more excited to win an X Games gold medal here."
The KIA X Games Asia 2009 will showcase more than 200 of Asia's and the world's best action sport athletes from more than 20 countries and five continents as they compete in BMX freestyle, Aggressive In-line Skating, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing. In addition to the competitive events, Shanghai, China will also enjoy Freestyle Moto X demonstrations by some of the world's best riders.
KIA X Games 2009 is sanctioned by the Chinese Extreme Sports Association and is organized by ESPN STAR Sports, the Shanghai Media Group and the Shanghai Sports Federation. The Shanghai Yang Pu District Government is the event's Special Organizer and the Shanghai Sports Competition Management Centre is the co-organizer while the Shanghai Extreme Sports Association is the supporting organizer. The KIC Jiangwan Sports Center is the official venue.
For media to download photos from the event, log on to www.espneventmedia.com.
For the general public to get information on the event, log on to www.kiaxgamesasia.com.
About ESPN's X Games Franchise
ESPN held its first X Games in 1995. ESPN's Global X Events and Development group is responsible for creating the company's action sports programming currently airing on ESPN, ESPN2 and across its various international networks. In addition to the two U.S.-based X-branded events X Games and Winter X Games, ESPN has held X Games competitions and demonstration events around the world, including Dubai, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Korea, Malaysia, China and Spain. The Global X franchise has also expanded its reach to ESPN.com/action, the definitive site for action sports fans, and to consumer products such as X Games bikes, protective gear, skateboards and DVDs.