Rising Japanese skateboarding star Ginwoo Onodera suffered a shock defeat in the men's street final at the Asian Games on Wednesday, finishing seventh without nailing a landing once in five single-trick attempts.
The 13-year-old Onodera was the odds-on favorite to win the event after he topped the qualification round a day earlier. In February, he became the youngest male medalist ever at a street skateboarding world championships when he took bronze in the United Arab Emirates at age 12.
China's Zhang Jie won with 231.14 points, followed by Indonesia's Tanjung Sanggoe Darma and China's Su Jianjun, who scored 200.63 and 195.73, respectively.
Onodera ended with 76.39. Japanese compatriot Aimu Yamazuki was fifth with 131.26.
Onodera looked in total control when he led after the run section.
But things started to turn around for the youngster from Yokohama in the tricks section, where the two best scores out of five tries count.
Onodera just needed to land one trick within his first three tries to put himself in position for victory.
After he fell in his first two, spectators began to wonder if a big upset would happen.
"I don't know what happened after the start," Onodera said. "I did well in the run section, but the "best trick" section was just disappointing."
Even his coach Daisuke Hayakawa was surprised to see Onodera's collapse.
"For the first time, I saw him fail to land all of his single-trick attempts," Hayakawa said. "I'm sure he wanted to begin with a successful one like he always does."
Asked to comment on the competition atmosphere in this eastern Chinese city, he said, "You never know what happens. It's my job to create a team that can win regardless of conditions. I have to get all of our skateboarders in top form when we enter the Paris Olympics."
Zhang added 81.89 and 78.67 points in the tricks section to his run score of 70.58.
"I never saw it coming," Zhang said of the victory. "I performed quite well in today's competition despite a few mistakes."
Asked why other skaters struggled in the single-trick section of the competition, he said, "I would say that many of them went for the more difficult tricks, but I stuck to the less difficult ones."
In the women's final earlier in the day, 13-year-old Cui Chenxi led a Chinese 1-2 finish with Zeng Wenhui. Japan's Miyu Ito and Yumeka Oda were third and fourth, respectively.