Sunday, June 02, 2002

Yasutoko brothers steal inline show

Takeshi, 15, ups 18-year-old Eito

By Gary Estwick,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Rollerblader Takeshi Yasutoko of Osaka, Japan, catches air off the vertical ramp during the pro competition of the Mobile Skatepark Series at Sawyer Point Saturday.
(Greg Ruffing photo)
| ZOOM |
        Eito Yasutoko never has to look far to find his competition. All he usually has to do is look over his shoulder.

        Day One of the Aggressive Skaters Association Pro Tour at Sawyer Point was no different. There, Yasutoko, the top-ranked inliner at the event, went face to face with his competition Saturday in the pro vert finals. It was his younger brother, Takeshi, the second-highest ranked skater.

        “I'm the big brother, so I have to beat him,” 18-year-old Eito said, joking.

        But it was little brother who did the winning. After falling twice in the first run of the vert competition, Takeshi — with a few words of encouragement from big brother — rebounded to win the event with 94 total points.

        “I told him, "It's OK,' ” Eito said. “ "You have one more run. No pressure. You have to cool out and think about the second run.' ”

        Takeshi was in 10th place after the first vert run. He pushed Eito to second (91.75).

        Eito also placed second in the vert best trick contest behind Jaren Grob.

        Shane Yost finished third in vert and vert best trick.

        “I think he's better (than me) because he has natural talent,” Eito said about Takeshi. “I always have to practice a lot. He doesn't.”

        Takeshi, 15, is the youngest vert skater to medal at the X Games. He placed second in 2000.

        Takeshi thinks his older brother is better.

        “He's very good,” he said. “(He gets) high air and spin. This time, I was lucky.”

        Rain postponed the vert finals for about 45 minutes.

        Eito won the 1999 and 2000 vert competitions at the X Games.

        Both of The Japanese brothers often practice together. Sometimes Eito is the teacher; sometimes Takeski Takeshi is.

        Their high-flying moves are really more lineage than luck. Their parents, Yuki and Tomoko Yasutoko, are former roller disco dancers. They own and run a skate park back in Japan. The brothers have skated since they were 2 years old. Because of the skating background in the Yasutoko family, they are known as the “first skate family of Japan.”

        TODAY'S ACTION: Nick Rother of Chicago is one of 15 amateurs who will compete in the street finals today at Sawyer Point.

        If Rother didn't hadn't qualified for the event in Cincinnati, he would have tried again when the ASA Amateur Circuit reaches to Milwaukee on May 29-30.

        “I've qualified in the street twice, but this is my first time on the vert,” Rother said. “I'm probably still going to go to Milwaukee, but if I qualify (in Cincinnati) I'll just hang out.”

        On the line today is a berth to the Amateur World Championships in October. The top-seven finishers advance. . . .

        Richie Velasquez of Fairborn won the amateur vert finals. Kelly Oldfield of Cincinnati was fourth. The top four places advance to the World Amateur Championships. . . .

        Today is the last day of the two-weekend event. On slate is the pro street competition (4:15 p.m.) and best trick contest (5:20 p.m.). The finals of the amateur street contest start at noon.


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