Meet Asian Games' 12-year-old skateboard star

Indonesian sensation Bunga Nyimas is the youngest medallist at the multisport event

She's 12 years old and has been called 'the future of Indonesian skateboarding'.

Bunga Nyimas has become the youngest medallist at the Asian Games by taking third place in the women's street skateboard event in Palembang.

The Bali-born girl competed in front of the home fans wearing a white hijab underneath her helmet as she's a practising Muslim.

"Alhamdulillah [Thank God], I am grateful" she said as she dedicated the medal to her mother, who turned 35 on the same day.

Bunga Nyimas pulls off a trick in the skateboard final at the Asian Games 2018 (Reuters)
Bunga Nyimas pulls off a trick in the skateboard final at the Asian Games 2018 (Reuters)Bunga Nyimas pulls off a trick in the skateboard final at the Asian Games 2018 (Reuters)

Winners

Under a sizzling sun, Nyimas skated like a seasoned pro in the skateboard street category.

An FS kickflip over the ramp and a sweet stalefish earned her 19.8 points.

She finished behind 17-year-old Kaya Isa of Japan who scored 25.0 points for silver.

Margielyn Didal, 19, of the Philippines topped the podium with 30.4 points.

Olympic inspiration

Born on April 13, 2006, to Didiet Rio and Ika Damayanti, Bunga Nyimas is the eldest of three siblings.

Her love of skateboarding was born when her father showed her some viral skateboard videos on social media when she was seven.

She got serious about the sport three years later.

The girl, who once dreamed of becoming a doctor, is now set to become one of Asia's young skateboarding stars.

"My target is to perform at the Olympics" - Bunga Nyimas

Kaya Isa high-fives Bunga Nyimas after their run. (Reuters)
Kaya Isa high-fives Bunga Nyimas after their run. (Reuters)Kaya Isa high-fives Bunga Nyimas after their run. (Reuters)

The sport she loves

Nyimas has decided to dedicate herself 100 per cent to skateboarding and is lucky to have the full support of her parents.

Her father has said that nothing would make him happier than seeing his daughter practicing the sport she loves.

He hopes that the government and the Indonesian Roller Skating Association can set up training programs for talented young athletes.

"There are many talented skateboarders in Indonesia. If the training programmes are done correctly, Indonesia will not be running out of skateboarders to compete at world events," he said.

Targeting Tokyo 2020

Her talent was spotted by local skateboarding legend Anthony “Tony Sruntul” Adam Caya, the president of the Indonesian Roller Skating Association.

Taking the young boarder under his wing, her training and preparation have reached another level.

Bunga came third at the VPS Asia Continental championship in Singapore last month and now this podium at the 2018 Asian Games has underlined her potential.

Indonesia head coach Charlie Hobbies was full of praise for Nyimas:

"It's such an incredible achievement for Bunga as a beginner in skateboarding, while her opponents are more experienced and much older than her," he said.

With the confidence that her Asian Games podium finish will bring, Indonesia's young skatestar has the momentum and the talent to make her dreams come true.

Qualifying for Tokyo 2020 would be another giant leap for a young Asian generation that's ready to roll.

Nine-year-old Aliqqa Novvery ready for her run at the women's street final (Reuters)
Nine-year-old Aliqqa Novvery ready for her run at the women's street final (Reuters)Nine-year-old Aliqqa Novvery ready for her run at the women's street final (Reuters)

Nine-year-old skater comes sixth

Nyimas wasn't the youngest participant at the tournament, in fact she wasn't even the youngest on the Indonesian team.

Aliqqa Novvery was born in 2009 and her mother has to yell at her to go to sleep on nights before training.

When she stepped up to compete in the women's street event, no-one knew what to expect.

Wearing pink pants and her hair in braids, this wonderkid dropped in and looked like a natural, leaping over blocks and executing difficult rail slides.

Aliqqa Novvery
Aliqqa NovveryAliqqa Novvery

Novvery only started skating in 2016 when she got a skateboard for her birthday, a few days ago she finished in sixth place at the Asian Games.

With young role models like Nyimas and winner of the event Margielyn Didal, the nine-year-old sees a clear career path in the world of skateboarding.

"What I like the most about skateboarding is you can find your own tricks and your own style. I really want to be a pro skater later on." - Aliqqa Novvery

Her rapid rise is an indication of how quickly the sport is growing in Indonesia and across Asia.

The skaters seem to share a common goal:

"I really want to join the Olympics and win a gold medal." - Aliqqa Novvery

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