On the hectic downtown streets of Buenos Aires, one teenage skateboarder kept a cool head to win the Argentine final of Red Bull Manny Mania 2011...
14-year-old Gonzalo Saravia tore up the manual at the Plaza Houssay venue to book himself a trip to the Manny Mania grand finale in New York.
“I’m so happy to have won," said Gonzalo. "I don’t think I can quite believe it yet but everybody keeps telling me I’m going to New York City! I know I'll have to practice even harder now. My dad is a gym teacher so I’m going to ask for his help with some exercises and, of course, take my board out whenever I can.”
Gonzalo will be joined in New York by the bester amateur skaters from 33 other countries when the Manny Mania season reaches its climax in August.
The global event should hold little fear for Gonzalo after he already beat off the competition of 280 skaters from all over Argentina. Heats were held in 11 Argentine provinces before the national final was contested in Gonzalo’s home city of Buenos Aires.
Thousands of spectators were on hand to cheer on the local lad as he got his nose in front of 17-year-old Sandro Morel and 18-year-old Eric Paolino who finished second and third respectively.
On the judging panel in Buenos Aires was South American skate champion Milton Martinez. The icon of Argentine skating was happy to have found a worthy champion.
"It soon became obvious to me who deserved the chance to travel to New York."
“Gonzalo deserved to win because he made so many difficult tricks and was creative enough to use the whole circuit. Watching Gonzalo pulling off trick after trick it soon became obvious to me who deserved the chance to travel to New York.”
The temporary skatepark that was constructed in Plaza Houssay for the Argentine final was the brainchild of Martin Pibotto.
“Red Bull Manny Mania has grown a lot since we first held the competition in Argentina last year. We expanded the heats to more provinces and we were able to build a better track for the final.
“It was great to see the riders getting the best out of the track and to have Milton here to judge the tricks was great. There was so much flair and creativity on display, the things you love to see from this new generation of skaters.”
As winner of the Argentine final, Gonzalo Saravia will now compete against the other national Manny Mania champions in New York. Gonzalo will test his skills in the manual category of the World Amateur Championship and also compete in the Red Bull Manny Mania Pro Championship that takes place the next day.
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