LOS ANGELES -- Brazilian skater Pedro Barros claimed his second X Games Skateboard Park gold medal, beating out Ben Hatchell and Rune Glifberg in a down-to-the-last-second battle Saturday at X Games Los Angeles 2012.
"It was just an amazing finals and to get the score on the last run, I was psyched," Barros said after the win. "It was crazy because Ben got a crazy-good score right in the start of it and he was killing it. … I was just trying to work something out to use the whole park, try different lines, and make it look like I was riding a bowl. I made it work in the end."
Barros, last year's silver medalist, has been on a tear this year: In May he picked up his second consecutive win at the annual Pro Tec Pool Party in Orange, Calif., and in April he won the Red Bull Skate Generation contest in his hometown, Florianopolis, Brazil. In February he picked up back-to-back wins at the Bowl-a-Rama events in Bondi, Australia, and Wellington, New Zealand. But he came into this contest with an injured knee and said he surprised himself with the win.
"I got to the finals and it was hurting a lot, and I was just like, 'I'm going to skate as hard as I can and try to deal with the pain,'" Barros said. "It was gnarly. Everyone was skating so good. Glifberg was skating the bowl like it was butter, and Hatchell was out there with his super tech tricks. It was just an amazing finals. To be able to get the win feels so good."
Hatchell, last year's bronze medalist, was the top qualifier in Saturday's elimination round ahead of heat winners Glifberg, Barros and Kevin Kowalski, and the next top two finishers, Ben Raybourn and Andy Macdonald.
"I was trying to do more technical tricks and try to have a good time out there," Hatchell said.
He came out swinging in his first run, which included some of the most technically challenging tricks of the day: a fakie ollie to nosegrind over the hip, a 360 over the gap, an alley-oop 50-50 through the shallow end pocket, a lein Sal flip, a "Unit" frontside invert 540 in the deep end to shallow and a frontside kickflip. He held the lead throughout most of the competition and held strong against Glifberg but couldn't answer Barros in his final run to bring up his average.
Glifberg, 37, was the oldest skater in the field on Saturday and is one of just four athletes who has never missed X Games in its 18-year history. He won Skateboard Park in 2008 and 2009; Saturday's bronze brings his total X Games medals tally to 11.
"I'm super stoked to be back on the podium after a couple years of not getting in there," Glifberg said after Saturday's competition. "The course was a little better for me this year, with some bigger stuff and more continuous fast lines, so it kind of worked in my favor. I was stoked to see Pedro and Ben, and Raybourn and Kowalski and Andy Mac in the finals … all the guys were ripping, so it was really fun. Skateboarding is so universal and I believe there's always mutual respect going in all directions. I think most skateboarders feel that way, and of course we all get inspiration from each other. I love watching these guys skate, and hopefully they enjoy watching me ride, too."