Skip to main content

Indonesia’s Bunga Nyimas becomes Asian Games’ youngest medalist

A 9-year-old skateboarder Aliqqa Novvery also debuts at Asiad as youngest athletes


Morung Express News
Dimapur | September 1

Two records were created at the skateboarding event of the ongoing 18th Asian Games 2018 on September 1 when Indonesia’s Bunga Nyimas Cinta became the youngest Asian Games medalist and her compatriot and fellow competitor Aliqqa Novvery debuted as the youngest athletes.


While the 12-year-old Cinta won the bronze medal, the 9-year-old Novvery made a her bold debut and finished sixth at the skateboard final at Jakabaring Sport City, Palembang.


According the report of the event posted by the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee on its website, skateboarder Cinta will not forget the day for two special moments.


First, the 12-year-old athlete became the youngest skateboarder to win a medal at the Asian Games; and second, her the bronze medal coincided with her mother's 35th birthday which was on August 29.


"This medal is a birthday gift for my mother," Cinta was quoted as saying.


“Competing under the hot sun in Palembang, she showed her potential as a talented skateboarder in the women’s street category,” the report added.


Confidently performing her tricks in the final, she successfully displayed tricks like “FS kickflip over the ramp and stalefish” and claimed bronze with a final score of 19.8 points.


Margielyn Didal, 19, of the Philippines won gold with 30.4 points, while the silver medalist was 17-year-old Kaya Isa of Japan who scored 25.00 points.


Born on April 13, 2006, Cinta curiosity about skateboarding began while watching videos on social media when she was a second grader, and took up the sport seriously in fifth grade.


She initially aspired to become a doctor, but decided that skateboarding would be her profession of choice, the report further informed adding, Cinta is planning take part in many championships, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where skateboarding will make its debut.


"My target is to perform at the Olympics,” she told the organizer.


Youngest but bold debut

Meanwhile, all eyes were also on Aliqqa Novvery of Indonesia as she jumped over blocks and executed tricks on handrails at a crowded venue in the Asian Games co-host city Palembang on September 1.


"Competing at the Asian Games is the best feeling ever and I'm proud to be here with all my friends," she told a group of reporters who gathered to hear what she had to say about her rare experience, according Japan’s Kyodo News Agency.


Novvery missed her chance to win a medal, but she settled for sixth in the eight-woman field after going through her two runs and five tricks, it said.


She was especially pleased to meet one of her role models, Didal of the Philippines, who bagged gold by scoring 5.4 points ahead of Japan's Kaya Isa, it added.


"It felt good to talk to a person that good. We got along well," Novvery was quoted as saying.


Apart from Cinta and Novvery, many young talents hit the course at Jakabaring Sport City, as skateboarding made its debut. Eleven-year-old Ian Nuriman Amri of Malaysia competed in the qualifiers of the men's street and park events.


Japanese teenagers dominated the competition at the Asian Games by winning three of four gold medals on the table, the report further said.


Novvery only took up the sport in 2016, after getting a skateboard as a birthday present.


“She had begged her parents to buy her one after seeing her cousin ride a week before her seventh birthday,” it said adding, since then, Novvery practiced more than three days a week after school at a skateboard park about 30 kilometers from her house.


After she signed up to be on the national team in April, she attended a training camp for a couple of months, where she also trained in the United States, the hub of the sport and qualified for the national team after finishing second in qualifiers.


The 9-year-old's next ambition is also to compete at the Summer Olympics at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.


Oldest athletes

The oldest athletes of the game is 85-year-old Philippines' Kong Te Yang, separated by as many as 76 years with Noverry.


The 85-year-old Filipino bridge player was born in 1933 while skateboarder is just nine years old, having been born in 2009.


Incidentally, both bridge and skateboarding have been included in the Games for the first time.