Takeshi Yasutoko remains unbeatable at AIL Vert: 2011 KIA X Games Asia
The 2011 KIA X Games (KXG) Asia Aggressive In-Line (AIL) Vert final went down on May 1 at the Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai, China. As the battle subsided, it was Japan’s Takeshi Yasutoko who went on to make history by clinching his fourth AIL Vert gold medal.
Britain’s Rich Parker’s strong determination got him the silver while another rider from Japan, Yusuke Aihara, secured a place on the podium with a bronze finish.
Even though Yasutoko was the favourite to win the contest, the other riders in the field could not be completely ruled out either. The likes of Cesar Andrade, Leonid Kamburov, Parker and Aihara were definitely not short on talent and skills. Though the Japanese
three-time AIL Vert champion was a formidable force to be reckoned with, the rest of the riders had no intention of letting him take the top place on the podium without putting up a fight. They were determined to deprive him of his fourth win and replace him
on the throne.
However, Yasutoko made their efforts futile and once again managed to emerge triumphant. His sensational moves and amazing style not only depicted his superiority over others, but also left the crowd in awe, especially the females whose screams could be
heard distinctively over the rest. The Japanese’s new trick 'Seven-seven', an Alley-oop double front 720 spin, pretty much sealed the fate of the final.
“I'm so happy!” said the 23-year-old after clinching his fourth gold. “The Shanghai fans are so loud, and I love being here!”
Parker tried to prevent the Japanese from getting his hands on the gold and put up sensational runs of his own. He showcased his technical tricks in the first three runs, which included two successive side 360 flips. An unfortunate crash on the fourth run
brought his gold pursuit to an end. However, he did get to take the silver medal home for his efforts.
Another rider from Japan, Aihara, put up an impressive fight as well. His run resembled that of Yasutoko’s, with several 720 spins and double flat spins, though the tricks were not executed as cleanly as the latter had pulled them off. He had to settle for
Talking to a reporter after the event, Yasutoko discussed his ligament injury and how hard it had been for him to get back to the competitive scene. He said that it had only been a year since he had started to skate again and took a long time to get back
to his full form, along with adding a new trick to his arsenal.
He was wearing a t-shirt with the words “I believe Japan will rise again” during the final. While Japan is struggling to recover from the earthquake and tsunami that caused devastation in March, the rider emotionally admitted that the only thing could do
was to skate his best for Japan. He added that even though his family and friends are safe, his country is not. Sending out the message written on his t-shirt to the world, he requested everyone to remember Japan in their prayers.