Mariah Duran competes at the X Games on July 21, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Mariah Duran is still queen of the street.
The 21-year-old from Albuquerque, New Mexico, successfully defended her skateboard street X Games title from July in Minneapolis, putting down an 89.00 in her first run that held up. The rest of the podium was a repeat from Minneapolis as well, with Brazil’s Leticia Bufoni coming up just short with an 88.00 and Japan’s Aori Nishimura finishing third with an 82.00.
Duran put down a confident run to open things up, besting her title-winning score from Minneapolis of 87.66. Bufoni looked like the one most capable of catching her, recording her 88.00 on her final run. The only other rider to score in the 80s was Pamela Rosa in fourth.
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Team USA’s Alexis Sablone was fifth.
Duran now has two X Games gold medals in one year, after recording just one medal previously at the event. Her first medal came in 2016 in skateboard street, when she won silver. Duran struggled at times in 2017, notably finishing 10th at that year’s X Games in Minneapolis. Nerves got the best of her, something she has improved through daily meditation to stay calm and focused.
Duran is expected to be one of the contenders for a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team for skateboarding’s debut at the Olympic Games.
Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.