America's Alexis Sablone claimed the women's street title ©World Skateboarding Grand Prix

America’s Alexis Sablone secured the women’s street title at the Skateboarding World Championships at the Kimberley Diamond Cup in South Africa, while the event also saw the first ever African Continental Championships take place.

Sablone delivered the standout performance of the opening day of competition as the American raced through the course to see off the challenge of her compatriot Vanessa Torres and Brazil’s Leticia Bufoni, who completed the podium.

Having claimed the victory, Sablone stated she would be using the $15,000 (£10,000/€13,000) top prize on paying off her school fees, with the 27-year-old due to graduate later this year.

“I am super excited to have won,” she said.

“I loved it out here last year and this year was even more amazing.

“It was great skating with the girls since we came over on the same plane and spent about 15 hours together.

“I am just so happy to have landed the tricks I did.”

Meanwhile,  the African Continental Championships drew athletes from 14 nations to compete, with skaters from Reunion proving to be a class above the competition as they claimed the top five positions in the event.

Reunion claimed the top five positions in the African Continental Championships
Reunion claimed the top five positions in the African Continental Championships ©Twitter

Damian Philippe was able to edge out his team-mates Laurent Genze and Finet Thierry to claim the title and first place prize money of R5,000 (£246/$377/€332).

As a result of his victory Philippe also earned a berth in the men’s Street World Championship qualifiers and he will be hoping to make an impression when facing some of the world’s top skaters.

Tim McFerran, President of the World Skateboarding Federation, believes holding both the World Championships and African Continental Championships in South Africa is providing a boost for skaters from around the continent.

“Many of these skaters had never left their country before and this has been a truly life changing experience for them,” he said.

“We are passionate about supporting skateboarders around the world and are doing everything we can to help them succeed.

“We look forward to doing this next year and to having even more African countries represented, this is only the beginning.”

Skateboarding has moved a step closer towards being part of the sport programme at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, after being recommended for inclusion by their additional sports panel along with baseball and softball, sport climbing, karate and surfing, but now awaits the final decision from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at their Session in Rio de Janeiro next year.

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