Monster Energy congratulates its team of BMX, Moto X, and Skateboard athletes on a strong performance on day two of X Games Chiba 2022.
CHIBA, Japan, April 23, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — A huge day at X Games in Japan is in the books! Monster Energy congratulates its team of BMX, Moto X, and Skateboard athletes on a strong performance on day two of X Games Chiba 2022.
In the heated BMX Street final, 23-year-old Australian team rider Lewis Mills clinched the gold medal, bringing the Monster Energy team’s total X Games medal haul on Saturday to five medals (1 gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze). At the end of day two of X Games Chiba 2022, the team had claimed 7 overall medals across three disciplines in the first edition of the action sports showcase contested in Japan.
Supported by Monster Energy as the official energy drink partner, X Games Chiba 2022 is the 64th edition of X Games. For three action-packed days, ZOZO Marine Stadium on Tokyo Bay is at the center of the action sports world with a capacity for 30,000 spectators.
More than 90 athletes from 18 countries are competing for a total of 30 medals awarded in 10 competitions across three sports. Top-notch athletic performances are supplemented by a cultural festival experience, art installations, and musical performances by the likes of Japanese rock band Man with a Mission, who also supplied the official theme song for X Games Chiba 2022.
Here’s how the action unfolded for team Monster Energy on day one of X Games Chiba 2022:
BMX Street: Monster Energy’s Lewis Mills Takes Home Spectacular Victory
Under the spotlights at ZOZO Marine Stadium, the Japanese crowd was treated to the world’s most progressive urban riding in the BMX Street final on Saturday night. The eight finalists hailed from Australia, Great Britain, Nigeria, and the United States.
The progressive street course, designed in the style of origami artwork to celebrate the host country, provided a broad selection of rails, banks, kickers, and stair sets. As the final session got underway, the rider to beat was defending gold medalist Garrett Reynolds from the United States with a total of 14 X Games gold medals under his belt.
Monster Energy’s Lewis Mills from Terrey Hills, Australia, dropped in as a wildcard and they youngest rider in the field. The 23-year-old has emerged as a podium threat on the international circuit, but only claimed one X Games medal in four appearances, silver in BMX Street at Sydney 2018.
That was about to change. In the 30-minute jam session, Mills opened his run with a technical barspin to double peg grind to manual to toothpick hanger out. He then finessed a tailwhip over the hip, bar spin on the quarter pipe extension, truck driver air through the origami swan kicker, double peg grind up the big rail to hardway 360 out, peg grind bar spin out, and crooked grind to 180.
But with Scottish team rider Alex Donnachie from Perthshire taking over the top spot, Mills needed to raise the bar. On his next run, Mills packed on technical tricks including overcrook to bar spin, and a combo featuring crooked grind to barspin to manual to crooked grind 180 out. Adding another technical manual to 180 before the buzzer, Mills secured the lead that would hold until the end of the session for his first X Games gold medal.
“It’s so insane to win! You don’t even picture it; you just hypothetically think how cool it would be. And then it actually happens,” said Monster Energy’s Mills upon winning BMX Street gold in Chiba. “My strategy was to land my run. I had a run… I just wasn’t sure that I was going to land it. That’s it!”
Mills earned his first X Games medal as a rookie in 2018 at X Games Sydney and now owns two medals from the event (1 gold, 1 silver).
BMX Park: Monster Energy’s Justin Dowell Earns Silver Medal, Kevin Peraza Claims Bronze
The Monster Energy team’s medal run continued in the BMX Park final. Eight athletes attacked the concrete bowl course in a 30-minute jam session, each taking 45-second runs to secure a high score. Stacked with wall rides, vertical corners and extensions, the course provided ample opportunity to get creative and technical.
The rider to beat was defending gold medalist Kevin Peraza from Tucson, Arizona. The 27-year-old started his run with a huge 360 invert over the centerpiece jump, right into a 360 downside tailwhip and a flair on the quarter pipe. The three-time gold medalist then threw down a massive Indian air over the hip, tiregrab can can, alley-oop no-hander, superman seat grab, pocket transfer air, tailwhip pocket air, and G-turn 360 over the hip. When all was said and done, Peraza walked away with the bronze medal in a strong performance at X Games Chiba 2022.
The biggest upset of the final came from X Games rookie and Monster Energy team rider Justin Dowell. In a showcase of consistency and technical finesse, the 22-year-old from Virginia Beach rose all the way to second place. Highlights included Dowell’s signature “Twix” air, a tailwhip barspin at the same time, followed by lookback, truck driver to tailwhip, 540 tuck no-hander, and double tailwhip. He also landed 540 tailwhip on the big quarter and a technical flair lookback for a strong second-place finish behind Australian Logan Martin in first.
Saturday’s silver medal marks the first X Games podium for Dowell. In 2018, the young pro turned heads by winning the 2018 UCI Urban World Cycling Championships in Chengdu, China.
Women’s Skateboard Park: Japanese Rider Mami Tezuka Claims Bronze Medal on Home Turf
Earlier on Saturday, eight of the world’s best vertical skateboarders battled for medals in the Women’s Skateboard Park final. The finalists hailed from only three countries, namely Brazil, Japan, and the United States.
Monster Energy athlete Mami Tezuka from Hikone Shiga dropped in as part of a strong Japanese contingent, including four riders from the host country in the final. As the jam session got underway, the 20-year-old put her diverse bag of tricks, high-speed approach, and penchant for creative transfers on full display.
After struggling on her first run, Tezuka found her perfect line through the park including frontside Smith grind in the deep end, frontside air transfer the hip, transfer frontside tailslide up the extension, Indy air, invert on the extension, and frontside feeble grind through the corner.
She also increased the difficulty by ways of backside Smith grind the deep end and gap out to frontside 50-50 truck bash on the extension. When all was said and done, the judges awarded Tezuka with the bronze medal as part of an all-Japanese podium with Cocona Hiraki in second and Sakura Yosozumi in first place.
Saturday’s bronze medal marks Tezuka’s second X Games medal after claiming silver in Women’s Skateboard Park at X Games 2021. The newly minted Monster Energy team rider’s track record also includes a third-place finish in the 2019 Vans Park Series World Championship Finals.
Moto X Best Whip: Julien Vanstippen Walks Away with Bronze Medal
For the weekend’s only motorized medal event, the high-energy crowd inside ZOZO Marine Stadium witnessed the Moto X Best Whip final. In an eight-minute jam session judged on overall impression, six athletes attempted the most contorted “Whip” aerials – throwing their bikes sideways in the air – over the massive super kicker jump.
The field included certified legends of the sport such as nine-time X Games medalist Axell Hodges from Encinitas, California, and Japanese ripper Genki Watanabe. Also, the defending gold medalist, American Tom Parsons, who clinched the win in the discipline at X Games 2021.
As the field of riders commenced to throw their most massive whips over the gap, one fresh face took the spotlight: X Games rookie and Monster Energy team rider Julien Vanstippen from Ophain, Belgium. After starting his career as a motocross racer, the 26-year-old found his calling freestyle motocross and came to X Games Chiba ready to send it with the best of the best.
When the dust settled, the judges awarded Vanstippen the bronze medal in Moto X Best Whip for a display of style and airtime. With his contorted turndown-style whips, travelling through the air entirely facing backwards, Vanstippen rose all the way to the podium in his debut at X Games. He even held down the lead for several runs, only to leapfrogged by Parsons and Tyler Bereman on final attempts. Still, what a way to make an entry!
Stay tuned for more on the third and final day of X Games Chiba 2022! On Sunday, the spectacle concludes with Men’s Skateboard Park as well as Men’s and Women’s Skateboard Street. Really saving the best for last!
X Games fans in the United States can watch live competition coverage from the inaugural X Games Chiba event April 22 – 24 on the ESPN App and X Games YouTube. Additionally, two hours of event recap coverage will air on ABC as part of the World of X Games series on May 14 and 21 from 2 – 3 p.m. ET.
Visit http://www.monsterenergy.com for exclusive updates from X Games Chiba 2022 including photos, videos, and contest results as they happen. Follow Monster Energy on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
About Monster Energy
Based in Corona, California, Monster Energy is the leading marketer of energy drinks and alternative beverages. Refusing to acknowledge the traditional, Monster Energy supports the scene and sport. Whether motocross, off-road, NASCAR, MMA, BMX, surf, snowboard, ski, skateboard, or the rock and roll lifestyle, Monster Energy is a brand that believes in authenticity and the core of what its sports, athletes and musicians represent. More than a drink, it’s the way of life lived by athletes, sports, bands, believers, and fans. See more about Monster Energy including all of its drinks at http://www.monsterenergy.com.
Kimberly Paige Dresser, Indie Agency, Inc., (949) 300-5546, [email protected]
SOURCE Monster Energy