15-year-old professional freestyle skateboarder Isamu Yamamoto won first place for the second year in a row at the World Freestyle Round-Up in 2018. (Grace Kennedy photo)

15-year-old cinches second year as top skater at freestyle championships

Isamu Yamamoto won as a professional for the second year in a row at the international contest

It was a world-class finish at the World Freestyle Round-Up at the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair on Sunday, May 20.

The international skateboarding competition featured 15 amateur and 14 professional skateboarders from countries around the world. There were also skateboarding legends — freestyle skaters 50 and over who competed for their own championship.

In the professional division, the key to winning was consistency. Both of the top two skaters were world champions, and had won at Round-Ups in the past.

This year, the top spot went once again to Isamu Yamamoto. The 15-year-old skater from Japan won the $3,000 prize at last year’s World Freestyle Round-Up, and took home the same prize this year.

Guenter Mokulys, 54, was eligible to compete in the Legends Freestyle Classic division, but opted instead to compete as a professional. Mokulys came in second, bringing home $1,500. Delta’s Ryan Brynelson came in third place, taking home hardware and $1,000.

White Rock’s Andy Anderson came in fifth for the professionals, and Mike Osterman came in fourth while the audience sang him “Happy Birthday.”

In the amateur division, nine-year-old Yuzuki Kawasaki came in first, after coming in third the year before.

There was a difference of one point between second and third for the amateur skateboarders. Yuta Fuji, the 12-year-old son of freestyle legend Masahiro Fuji, took home third while Brazil’s Marcio Torres took second.

Torres took home first in the amateur division last year, and was celebrated for his well-choreographed runs this year.

RELATED: 14-year-old takes home top prize at freestyle skateboarding finals

Bert Mathieson, 55, took home the first place prize in the Legends Freestyle Classic division, an event that returned to the World Freestyle Round Up after a hiatus. The Legends division showcased skateboarders 50 years of age and over, and celebrated those who had contributed to the sport.

Mathieson also came to the event with his own award to give out, to celebrate someone who contributed to the culture and vibe of the World Freestyle Round Up.

“I really value people who are encouragers, because it’s not really about us. It’s about others,” the Vancouver-born skateboarder said at the Sunday awards ceremony. “So if you can pass it on to others, and just make their life better, make them a better skater and improve the environment for them so that the sport fosters, then I think that’s what it’s about.”

Mathieson’s award was given to amateur skater Ricky Rodriguez, because he had “the spirit of the Round Up.”

The Ambassadors of Freestyle award, which goes to skaters who have contributed behind the scenes to the sport of freestyle, went to both Masahiro Fuji and Toshiaki Fuji for their work in helping freestyle grow internationally through their videos and support of events like the Cloverdale Round-Up.

The Henry Candioti Award for the best freestyle skateboarding style can only be won once by a skater in their lifetime. This year, it was won by Shen Meng, along with $500 to go towards his skateboarding school in China.


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