SEATTLE, Wash. (November 1, 2008) - Day two of the LG Action Sports World Championships brought the pros of BMX Vert, BMX Street, Men's and Women's Inline Street Skating, as well as Skateboard Vert to the fans and made them jump to their feet in celebration as the athletes laid down some of the most spectacular runs of the season. The year's most dominant stars in BMX Vert and BMX Street, Jamie Bestwick (Darby, England) and Daniel Dhers (Caracas, Venezuela) respectively, continued their winning ways in 2008 and captured the gold medal in their disciplines, as Jenna Downing (Barnsley, England) and Franky Morales (Miami Beach, Fla.), took the gold in Inline Skating Street. Skateboard Vert also saw the usual suspects finish the Prelims at the top of the heap, with Pierre-Luc Gagnon (Montreal, Canada) leading the way.
The afternoon began with the Skateboard Vert Prelims and a 16-man field that needed to be whittled to eight for the Sunday afternoon Finals. The tops stars were in play, giving their best in an attempt to advance to the Finals. By the round's end, Gagnon, Sandro Dias (Santo Andre, Brazil), Bucky Lasek (Baltimore, Maryland), Danny Mayer (Omaha, Nebraska), Alex Perelson (San Diego, Calif.), Andy Macdonald (San Diego, Calif.), Buster Halterman (Wellsville, Penn.) and Marcelo Bastos (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had advanced. On what can only be characterized as a 'steam roll', Gagnon comes in as the event's defending champion and is looking to cap the season with a second consecutive LG World Champion title.
Daniel Dhers has also been rolling through all of 2008 in the Gold medal position and continued to do so today, decisively winning the BMX Street contest with two runs that far exceeded the competition. He pushed himself to the end, even bettering his first round score with his second run.
"I always want to do a good first run. But tonight I realized it's been a long time since I've done two good runs, so I went out there to do it, and it worked."
The Silver and Bronze medals went to Rob Darden (Greenville, NC) and Dennis Enarson (San Diego, Calif.) in a tiebreaker. Both men produced 90.00 point runs, but Darden turned in an 89.50 point first run, which bested Enarson's additional run by one point, thereby breaking the tie and securing him second place.
Clearly another highlight of the evening was Jamie Bestwick's (Darby, England) winning performance in the BMX Vert contest. Bestwick rode to his 5th LG World Championship title in six years. He's captured the BMX Vert Gold at every LG World Championships he's attended, missing out on the title in 2006, the only year he did not participate. He soared above the ramp tonight in what was described by announcers as "BMX insanity", winning the contest with his first run.
"It feels great," said Bestwick, describing his success. "This Seattle stop is a great one for the ASA [Entertainment] Action Sports World Tour. This event is a lot of fun. There's a lot of nerves beforehand and everyone is on edge, but it brings out the best in us."
Bestwick's domination in BMX has been virtually complete in 2008 with him capturing nearly every major title this year. When asked what he attributes it to, he commented, "I just enjoy riding bikes. I gave up everything - my job, my family, my country - to come here and compete, and that's what drives me to keep on pushing."
The Silver medal in BMX Vert went to crowd-pleaser Chad Kagy (Gilroy, Calif.), and Simon Tabron (Newquay, England) received the Bronze medal.
The Inline Skating Street competitions were a definite treat for fans, thrilling the crowds with the creativity and daring of the athletes' skill and talent. Fallon Heffernan (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.), entered the women's competition as the leader from Friday's Prelims, but Jenna Downing landed every trick she attempted in the Finals and solidly rode away with the Gold medal. Heffernan came in second; Fabiola da Silva (Sao Paulo, Brazil) came in third.
"Unbelievable" best describes the men's Inline Skating Street competition where the athletes pushed the limits of not only themselves, but also the course boundaries. Nineteen year-old David Sizemore (Atlanta, Georgia) back-flipped off the hitching posts and Franky Morales used the neighboring Vert ramp to jump into the Street course, while performing a 540 spin before landing smoothly to the crowds' cheers in amazement. Not to be outdone, Stephane Alfano (Frejus, France) also launched himself from the Vert ramp, landing a 540 spin as well after two attempts. With just a couple of minutes left to the session, Morales once again jumped from the Vert ramp, spinning through a 900, but failed to execute a successful landing. Nevertheless, after the judges tallied the scores in what was one of the toughest decisions of the evening, Morales came out the winner.
"I was just trying to win," said Morales when asked how he came up with jumping from the Vert ramp. "I was trying to do something big, and I saw the ramp - it's what's big in here - and I said, 'That's it.'" The Silver medal went to Alfano, and Sizemore accepted the Bronze.
The LG Action Sports World Championships resumes Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. featuring a day of skateboarding contests. Skateboard Street Prelims start at 2:00 p.m., followed by Skateboard Vert Finals and Skateboard Street Finals thereafter. Hoobastank will entertain the crowd to cap the weekend's activities.
For photos or more information on the LG Action Sports World Championships, please contact Denise M. Abbott of ASA Entertainment at 310 430 0496 or visit www.lgactionsports.com.
The LG Action Sports World Championships is an ASA Entertainment production.
BMX Vert Finals Results:
1) Jamie Bestwick (Darby, England)
2) Chad Kagy (Gilroy, Calif.)
3) Simon Tabron (Newquay, England)
4) Steven McCann (Melbourne, Australia)
5) Jimmy Walker (Gilberts, Illinois)
6) Francisco Zurita (Santiago, Chile)
7) Zack Warden (Ofallon, Illinois)
8) John Parker (State College, Penn.)
9) Jay Eggleston (Denver, Colo.)
10) Koji Kraft (Addison, Illinois)
11) Austin Coleman (Los Angeles, Calif.)
12) Jorge Jovel (Tela, Honduras)
13) Ben Snowden (Hornell, New York)
BMX Street Finals Results:
1) Daniel Dhers (Caracas, Venezuela)
2) Rob Darden (Greenville, NC)
3) Dennis Enarson (San Diego, Calif.)
4) Allan Cooke (Greenville, NC)
5) Anthony Napolitan (Youngstown, Ohio)
6) Gary Young (San Diego, Calif.)
7) Kevin Kiraly (Livermore, Calif.)
8) Morgan Wade (Tyler, Texas)