At 9, Philippines Skateboarder Makes History By Competing At Asian Games

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Asian Games 2023: Mazel Paris Alegado competes in skateboarding.© AFP

She probably ought to have been in primary school, but instead Mazel Paris Alegado -- aged nine -- competed in skateboarding at the Asian Games on Monday. Alegado, thought to be the youngest athlete at the Games in Hangzhou and representing the Philippines, qualified for the "women's" park final and came seventh out of eight. Japan's Hinano Kusaki, a comparative veteran at 15, won gold. (Asian Games Medals Tally | Full Schedule - Sep 25)

Alegado, who turned nine in March and reportedly comes from California, said she got into skateboarding when she saw her brother doing it while they were at a cousin's house.

"And I was like, 'Can I try? Can I try?'" she said. "And I got on the board and just loved it."

Talking on her feelings about taking part in a major international competition, Alegado said: "I was so excited because I was about to skate the Asian Games -- and I just did, so it was so fun!"

Asked if her brother still skates, she replied: "No because he was like, 'Oh dang, she's better than me now', so he stopped."

In the final, Alegado avoided the wooden spoon, which instead went to Taiwanese 11-year-old Lin Yi-fan.

India claimed the first world record of the Hangzhou Asian Games on Monday as hosts China snapped up more gold medals and a nine-year-old skateboarder melted hearts.

The Indian trio of Divyansh Panwar, Rudrankksh Patil and Aishwary Tomar blew away the field with a new world best 1,893.7 points to win the men's 10m air rifle team event on day two of the multi-sports extravaganza.

They beat the previous mark of 1,893.3 set by China last month and in doing so won India's first gold of a Games where the hosts have swept 32 of the 51 titles decided so far.

"In the 10m event they are both perfect athletes," Tomar said of his teammates. "Playing with them is huge, it's really good."

India claimed their second gold in the afternoon when they defeated Sri Lanka in the final of the women's cricket by 19 runs. Another shooting world record fell to Chinese teenager Sheng Lihao in the men's 10m air rifle with his 253.3 points surpassing teammate Yu Haonan's 252.8 from Rio four years ago.

"I had good luck in the final. I did quite well today, I was basically smooth," said the 18-year-old, a Tokyo Olympic silver medallist.

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