By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For the fourth time in a row, Rio will host the biggest names in national and international skateboarding for the Oi Bowl Jam. The competition, which runs from January 27th to 29th, will officially open the 2017 season for the world title race, and take place in Madureira, in the city’s Zona Norte (North Zone).
Thirty athletes will participate in the competition, which will be held again on the track of Parque Madureira, the largest in Latin America.
Under the rules of the tournament, ten athletes are pre-qualified for the Oi Bowl Jam semi-final on the 28th. The names have been set according to this year’s competition ranking.
Among them, Brazilians Pedro Barros (six-time world champion in Bowl / Park and three-time tournament champion), Filipe Foguinho, Vi Kakinho, Nilo Peçanha and Murilo Peres, as well as Italian Ivan Federico and Americans Alex Sorgente and Josh Borden.
The presence of the best athletes in the world in the competition shows the importance of the event for the world skate calendar. The competition adds points to the World Cup Skateboarding (WCS) ranking, and the prize pool is R$120,000.
Marcia Casz, from IMM, the company that holds the event told local press, “Rio de Janeiro has enormous potential to host major sporting events.[…] It is a unique opportunity for the public to be able to see great names of the world’s skateboard in action at the largest track in Latin America. Many of them will be the stars of Tokyo 2020.”
André Barros, technical director of the tournament, told O Globo, “This stage is one of the most important in the WCS circuit. Being in Rio de Janeiro is very good. It makes it easier for Brazilians, in terms of cost, besides the fans being on our side. Now that skateboarding has entered the Olympic Games, events with Bowl Jam further help train and prepare our skaters.”
What: Oi Bowl Jam
Where: Parque Madureira – Rua Soares Caldeira 115, Madureira
When: January 27th to 29th