At nine years old, skateboarder Mazel Alegado has the world at her feet.
The youngest member of the Philippines team at the Asian Games – and thought to be the youngest competitor at the entire event – finished seventh in the women’s park final in Hangzhou, China.
Now the United States resident has her eyes set on reaching the Olympic Games.
“I’m really proud that I got here. My dream is to be a pro skater. I would love to go to the Olympics,” she told Japan Today.
“I was so excited you know, because I was able to skate Asian Games. [It was] so fun,” she added.
She was inspired to take up the sport after watching her brother.
“We were at my cousin’s house and I saw my brother skateboarding and I was like, ‘Can I try? Can I try?’ I got on the board and just loved it,” she said.
Alegado’s best score in the final came in her first run, when she posted 52.85.
Japanese skateboarder Hinano Kusaki, 15, claimed gold while China bagged silver and bronze with, respectively, 20-year-old Li Yujuan and Mao Jiasi, 15, finishing on the podium.
Skateboarding has attracted some of sport’s youngest athletes. Britain’s Sky Brown turned 13 shortly before claiming bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics while silver medallist Kokona Hiraki was 12.