In Sunday’s Women’s Street Skateboarding finals, all eyes were on the circular street course at Praça Duó. Featuring a centerpiece pyramid in the middle, the concrete course was lined by big rails, Hubba ledges, and stair sections on the perimeter with plenty of opportunities to unleash creative street moves.
Known for her diverse bag of tricks, Monster Energy rider and local favorite Rayssa Leal once again proved that age is just a number. Going up against an elite field including reigning SLS World Champion Pamela Rosa, the 11-year-old skateboard phenom put on a masterclass in style and consistency.
Unfazed by the competition, Leal landed a perfect first run featuring boardslide the big rail, nollie heelflip out the bank, frontside feeble grind the A-frame rail, kickflip down the six stair, gap to frontside lipslide the centerpiece pyramid rail, and a feeble grind the big rail for 4.10 points and an early lead.
In the Best Trick section, Leal maintained her momentum by sending a gap to backside lipslide down the pyramid rail (4.31 points) and a perfectly dipped backside Smith grind down the big rail (4.83 points). With current World Champion Rosa in close pursuit, Leal landed a kickflip down the massive nine-stair rail on her fourth Best Trick attempt for 3.3 points and maintained her top spot on the leaderboard.
But when Leal missed a gap to frontside feeble down the pyramid rail on her fifth and final attempt, Rosa used the opening to land a backside Smith down the rail to bump her from the top spot and claim the win. In a show of sportsmanship, Leal congratulated her fellow Brazilian on the course and walked away with 17.09 points total for a strong second-place finish.
Leal first turned heads in 2015 at the age of 6 by heelflipping down a set of stairs while wearing a fairy costume in a video that went viral across the globe.
Leal has since proven a strong competitor at the highest international level: This summer, she claimed an upset victory at the SLS World Tour stop in Los Angeles, making her the youngest competitor in history to ever win an SLS tour stop. She also won the Far’n High competition in France in May and placed fourth in her X Games debut in Minneapolis in August.
Leal finished off her 2019 SLS season by taking second place at the SLS World Championship in Brazil in September. With today’s second place in Rio de Janeiro, Leal retains her number two position in the Women’s Street Olympic World Skateboarding Ranking for the 2020 Tokyo games maintained by World Skate.