Schaar makes history at KIA X Games Asia

Up-and-coming 12-year-old skateboarder Tom Schaar from the USA became the youngest champion in the KIA X Games Asia on Monday.

X-Games News: Tom Schaar

Schaar won the Skateboard Mini MegaRamp title, beating a stellar list of top names that have defined the sport.

Monday's field featured a microcosm of the past, present and future of the sport. The pint-sized champion rose heads above shoulders against a world-class field, such as Andy MacDonald, Bob Burnquist and last year's champion and seven-time X Games Skateboard gold medallist Pierre-Luc Gagnon.

After landing the first 1080 on a MegaRamp in practice only weeks before heading to China, all eyes were on Schaar throughout the competition. On his second to last run, Schaar exceeded everyone's expectations and left the rest of the competition to battle for silver after the backside 1080 scored him a 94.00, winning his first KIA X Games Asia gold medal and making him the youngest champion in the history of the event.

"I tried the 1080 once before the contest and then three or four times during the contest and was stoked to get it," an exhilarated Schaar said. "I'm just excited to be here and be skating with all of these pros that I've looked up to. It's the best feeling!"

Skateboard MegaRamp pioneer Bob Burnquist gave the prodigious talent his stamp of approval, announcing to everyone around him at the end of the event, "Tom, you're my hero!"

He added, "He's very advanced for his age. In his head he's very cool and that usually comes with time, but he's had that right away. He's going to go a long way and we're going to have to deal with Tom for a long while."

Bob Burnquist's best run earned him a silver medal with a score of 84.00 and fellow Brazilian Ronaldo Gomes rounded out the podium with a score of 83.00

Continuing his dominance of the Aggressive In-Line Vert competition, Takeshi Yasutoko led the Japanese podium sweep to win his fourth consecutive KIA X Games Asia gold medal. After securing two solid runs, giving himself a comfortable lead over the other riders, Takeshi and elder brother Eito dropped in together to give fans a victory lap together and a taste of their Vert Doubles riding skills.

In a competitive final, Takeshi battled with his brother for the top spot throughout the competition, finishing on top with a score of 91.00. Eito settled for silver with an 87.00, while last year's bronze medalist Yusuke Aihara defended his bronze with a score of 81.00.

"I'm so glad to be here again and to be wining!" said Takeshi. "With my brother here this time and all the other good skaters who skate doubles, it made it harder to win."

Brother Eito added, "We performed a great show. My brother and I are a team and today [Monday] we showed the people everything we can do, even doubles, so it was good. I am so happy and the contest was very exciting."

In his first KIA X Games Asia appearance, Chad Kerley took home a surprise gold in the BMX Street Finals. Qualifying second, Kerley stepped it up in the final, leading throughout the entire jam. His creativity and style coupled with various manual tricks and the best combos of the competition led him to gold with a score of 86.00.

"I had a good song playing, so I just went for it. My adrenaline was going and I'm with my friends, so I wasn't too stressed," said Kerley about his performance. "Just competing here in China, I feel grateful, so I wanted to make the best of it and I had a lot of fun."

Last year's gold medalist Jeremiah Smith finished with a silver medal with a score of 76.00 and German rider Bruno Hoffman took home his first KIA X Games Asia medal with a 73.00.

Fans can look forward to the final day of the KIA X Games Asia 2012, such as seven-time X Games Skateboard gold medallist Pierre-Luc Gagnon aiming to make up for coming up empty on Monday at the Mini-MegaRamp final, for Tuesday's Skateboard Vert Final. 

In the BMX Mini-MegaRamp, expect some high-flying action from the likes of four-time X Games gold medallist Kevin Robinson, three-time gold medallist Chad Kagy, six-time medallist Steven McCann and three-time X Games Asia gold medallist Vince Byron. 

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