|By Marketwired .||
|September 28, 2013 03:23 PM EDT||
KIMBERLEY, SOUTH AFRICA -- (Marketwired) -- 09/28/13 -- Thousands of skate fans descended on Kimberley, South Africa for the kickoff of the 2013 Kimberley Diamond Cup world skateboarding championships. The contest, presented by Kumba Iron Ore, kicked off with a concert featuring dance performances and popular South African musicians followed by a 15-minute fireworks show.
Saturday was the first day of the pro competition with the first half of the Vert Championships and the Pro Street Qualifiers.
The Vert contest kicked off first on Saturday morning. With 50 percent of their score coming from the vert contest, PLG, Andy Mac and Alex Perelson came out of the gate with impressive runs. Andy Macdonald landed a beautiful kickflip 540. PLG had a varial flip mute to fakie and Alex Perelson had the crowd on its feet with a frontside invert up the extensions. Heading into the Finals, the top three skaters were Andy Mac in first, followed by PLG in second and 16-year-old Jono Schwan in third.
Saturday evening the second half of the vert contest kicked off with the Big Air portion. Macdonald held off PLG and Jono Schwan to claim the $60,000 cash prize, the largest vert prize in skateboarding. Macdonald's big trick during the Big Air contest was the varial lien 180 over the gap to a 720. He also had a huge fakie 540 over the gap to a body varial 540. Second place finisher, 16-year-old Jono Schwan, had an incredible showing in the Big Air with a huge 360 over the gap to a 900. In the end it wasn't enough to overtake Macdonald, but he received his 2nd place award in front of cheering fans and made a special trip into the crowd to sign autographs.
Pro Vert Championship Final Results
1st Place ($60,000) - Andy Macdonald
2nd Place ($30,000) - Jono Schwan
3rd Place ($20,000) - Pierre Luc Gagnon
"I had an awesome finals. I'm super psyched," said Vert Winner Andy Macdonald. "Everyone was ripping. It was amazing watching the young guys. Jagger doing the 360 kickflip, and Jono stomped a 900. It could have gone either way for the overall, and I got the word that I won. I was doing airwalks. This is the biggest prize I've ever won as a skateboarder. I'm stoked on the Kimberley Diamond Cup."
Also Saturday, the Pro Street Qualifiers took place. The head-to-head format saw skaters battle it out to earn their spot in Sunday's Finals. The top four finishers earned byes to the final round of the Pro Street Finals on Sunday. Highlights of the qualifiers included Alec Majerus' full cab backside smith, Louis Lopez' varial heelflip down the big four, Nyjah Huston's switch frontside blunt and Manny Santiago's varial heel backside 50-50.
After the dust settled, the top 12 skaters advancing to Sunday's finals are (ages in parentheses):
1. Alec Majerus (18)
2. Louis Lopez (18)
3. Nyjah Huston (18)
4. Trevor Colden (19)
5. Manny Santiago (28)
6. Matt Berger (19)
7. Ryan Decenzo (27)
8. Felipe Gustavo (22)
9. Micky Papa (23)
10. Evan Smith (22)
11. Tommy Fynn (24)
12. Yuri Facchini (17)
Click here for the full results from the KDC Street Qualifiers.
"This is the best group of skaters I've ever been associated with in a contest," said Tim McFerran, CEO of World Skateboarding Grand Prix. "It's great to see these young guns doing so well in such a high pressure competition. This is for the world championship and $100,000 cash, so these guys are giving it everything they've got. Tomorrow's finals are going to be intense. Nyjah landed a never been done trick in practice Thursday that was just incredible. We'll see if he can land that when it counts. That's what the world championship is all about -- seeing the best skating, tricks no one has ever seen."
The Kimberley Diamond Cup replaces the Maloof Money Cup world championships, which ended its run in South Africa last year. The new event, a partnership between the Northern Cape Provincial Government, World Skateboarding Grand Prix, and Kumba Iron Ore, was named in homage to the host city's history as the location of South Africa's first diamond mine and its distinction as "The Diamond City."
Watch the Pro Street Finals LIVE Sunday at 10 a.m. EST at www.kimberleydiamondcup.com.
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