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Olympians claim victory at skating tournament in East of Pretoria

One of the biggest competitions for skateboard riders in South Africa was held last weekend in the east of Pretoria.

The third edition of the Street Lines Skate Tournament took place at the legendary Thrashers Skatepark in Pretoria this past weekend.

Olympians, Boipelo Awuah (Kimberley) and Brandon Valjalo (Johannesburg) took top honours in the Women’s and Men’s divisions respectively.

70 Skateboarders (20 women and 50 men) from around Africa were met with perfect weather conditions as they competed though the qualifying rounds, looking to score enough points to make it into the finals.

The level of competition at this year’s event was at an all-time high as skaters competed for their share of the R50 000.00 prize purse, Garmin Instinct 2X Smartwatches and Dickies apparel.

In the qualifying rounds each skater had two 45-second runs with the top scoring run counting, while in the finals each skater had two 45-second runs along with four Best Trick attempts, with the top scoring run and top three best tricks counting towards their final score. Judges took consistency, difficulty, style, and use of park into account when making their decisions that would see 7 women and 15 men advance to the finals.

In the women’s division, defending Street Lines champion, Boipelo Awuah took the top step of the podium for the third time. Her use of park paired with consistency and technical tricks scored her above the rest of the field.

It was a closely fought battle for second place between Natalie Bramley, also from Kimberly, and Caitey Karagiannidis (Johannesburg), who’s progressions over the last year impressed all. In the end it was Bramley who scored second place with Karagiannidis rounding off the podium in third.

After 10 heats of qualifying in the men’s division, the final 15 took to the course. Defending 2022 Street Lines champion, Moses Adams (Cape Town) was on form throughout the day but mistakes in his final runs put him out the running for first place. Adams clawed back to a third-place finish with decent scoring best trick attempts.

Thalente Biyela (Cape Town) put down some exciting, high impact runs that had the crowd screaming for more. Paired with a huge 360 air best trick over the box jump, Biyela slotted himself into second place. Returning from competition overseas and competing in Street Lines for the first time, Brandon Valjalo solidified the overall win with flawless runs stacked with technical ticks.

The day ended off with the best trick jam that saw a host of competing skaters take part in the 20-minute jam session down the stair-set featuring rails and hubbas. Through the chaos it was Kyle Keshwa that took the win with a backside 270 frontside lip-slide to take home the Best Trick title and a GoPro HERO11 MINI.

“Street Lines continues to grow from strength to strength and I was hugely impressed with not only the calibre of skaters competing this year, but also the progression. This event is for the skaters, for skateboarding, and our focus is to grow and push the development of this amazing sport in our country. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all involved, the competing athletes and our event partners for making the 2023 edition the success it was. We can’t wait to see what 2024 holds,” commented Street Lines organiser, Ryan van der Spuy after the event.

 

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