Marisa Dal Santo claimed her third X Games gold medal on Friday in the Women's Skateboard Street finals (she also won in 2007 and 2009), beating out defending champ Alexis Sablone and 2010's silver medalist Leticia Bufoni for the win.
Dal Santo, an X Games competitor since winning bronze in 2005, trailed just behind Sablone after round one, making the cut for the five-woman finals along with Bufoni, Brazilian skater Jessica Florencio, and four-time gold medalist Elissa Steamer. Dal Santo missed several days of practice on the course, skating it for the first time just a half an hour before finals. She improved with each run as finals progressed, working the ledge with frontside lipslides over a perilous roof gap and landing big tricks like a backside 180 kickflip up the step-up gap and a crooked grind on the 6-stair down rail.
"Just skating around you get more comfortable," Dal Santo said after the competition. "I like this course. It flows pretty well. I didn't really have a run planned out. I just figured out what works and stuck with it, I guess. It was pretty fun."
Sablone got the biggest trick of the day, landing kickflip to 50-50 grind down the hubba ledge in two separate runs, but couldn't put it together to get the winning run, falling on her 50-50 attempts down the biggest handrail on the course. Final score: Dal Santo 88.00, Sablone 84.33, Bufoni 78.00.
"I'm a little disappointed," Sablone said. "I won last year, I got second the year before that and second this year. Second's still pretty good."
Bufoni had a big year in 2010, winning the Maloof Money Cup in Costa Mesa, Calif., and the Mystic Sk8 Cup in Prague, CZE, and finishing in first place in World Cup Skateboarding's year-end rankings. This is her second X Games medal.
Check out full results.