Eito Yasutoko defended his title in the aggressive in-line vert competition, winning the final by four points over Shane Yost at the X Games Trials on Friday.
The victory also helped Yasutoko improve his chance at taking over the No. 1 ranking in the event from Cesar Mora, who competed in Rome last week and decided not to compete Friday.
Despite accomplishing a lot, Yasutoko was disappointed in the overall results. Not for him, but for his brother.
Yasutoko, a 16-year-old native from Osaka, Japan, said he hoped he and his 13-year-old brother, Takeshi, would finish 1-2. Takeshi finished third.
"I'm happy to win, but I am sad for my brother," Eito said.
"We're not competitive, but I wanted to us finish No. 1 and No. 2."
The Yasutoko brothers have been involved with in-line skating most of their lives. Their father, Yuki, owns a skate park in Japan and they have been skating for the past seven years.
Their experience helped with their meteoric rise. After finishing fourth in 1998, Eito beat defending champion Mora for the title last year. Takeshi was eighth.
Eito had to work to defend his title. He was third after the preliminaries, behind Yost and Sven Boekhorst, who ended up fifth. Takeshi was in fifth after the preliminaries.
Although they wanted to take gold and silver, Friday's competition didn't matter that much for the Yasutokos.
They already had qualified for the X Games Aug. 17-22 in San Francisco, along with Yost.
The only competitor who qualified for the X Games on Friday was Javier Bujanda, who finished fourth.
Matt Hoffman completed his comeback by leading the preliminary round of the stunt-vert competition.
Hoffman, who won 10 straight world championships and took gold at the X Games in stunt-vert in 1995 and '96, battled knee injuries and considered not competing last year. He did and took eighth.
More focused and injury-free, Hoffman scored 93.80 points to lead Jamie Bestwick by 1.9 points.
Dave Mirra, the most decorated athlete of the X Games with 10 medals, including eight golds, was in third (90.90 points). The final is 2-3:30 p.m. today.
In the flatland stunt competition, Daniel Rigby scored an upset with 96.60 points in the preliminary round to lead three-time champion Trevor Meyer (92.40). The final is noon-1 p.m. today.
Californians were dominant during the preliminaries of the street-style competition. Nine riders placed in the top 10. The rider to break the sweep was Kyle Berard of Virginia Beach, Va., who is in fourth.
Dan Pageau from Huntington was in first with 87.6 points. Chris Senn, who took gold in 1995 and '97, was seventh (81.6).
One rider not around for the street style final, from 4:15-5:15 p.m. today: Anthony Furlong of Tampa, the only local competitor in the field. Furlong finished last among the 26 participants with 35 points.
"What went wrong today?" Furlong asked. "Well, pretty much everything."
Part of the reason Furlong had such a disappointing outing was because the street stuff isn't his style. Vert skating is the one he has been training for the past nine months.
Street style was something he did for fun.
"I'm just not used to this and I wasn't expecting to do much," he said. "I was loose and decided to try some different things. It was frustrating, though, because when I'm not concentrating, I usually do bad. I fell on things that were so easy."