Jack's taking on world's best

Published 5:00pm 29 February 2024

Jack's taking on world's best
Words by Nick Crockford

Scarborough teenager Jack Lewis has packed his bags and is ready to fly almost 12,000km for one of the biggest tests of his sporting career.

The 16-year-old is in the Australian squad for the Dubai World Skateboarding Pro Tour (WST) Park and Street competitions in the UAE.

More than 500 of the world’s top skateboarders are descending on a new course at Dubai Harbour, beside the famous Palm Jumeriah.

Lewis is in the Aussie Street team alongside 2020 Tokyo Olympic champion Shane O’Neill and X Games gold medallist Chloe Covell.

'Street' competes on a flatter course with ‘street’ obstacles such as stairs, rails, curbs and benches. 'Park' uses a concrete bowl with smaller curves and ramps.

Lewis will touch down in Dubai at the weekend and have three 45-minute practice sessions in three days before his competition on March 6-7. 

This will be the Redcliffe State High School Year 12 student’s second WST event in three months having received a wildcard to compete in Tokyo last December.

In Japan, he finished 56th out of 160 entrants and earned a place at the Dubai tournament this week.

“I’m just hoping to improve on last time,” Lewis said, “I’ll watch a few people (in action), but think I perform better under pressure.”

Skate Australia National Coach Beau Mitchell said: “The Dubai park is purpose-built for this competition. All the skaters are excited but will need to adapt as quickly as they can after the practice days.

Jack Lewis, second from right, with team-mates in Tokyo late last year.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them compete and put down some solid performances.”

Dubai is the last qualification in Phase 1 for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with the field cut down, after next week’s events, for Phase 2.

A top 16 finish might be enough to give Lewis a world ranking and a late tilt at the Games, but, realistically, the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics is his target.

Lewis, who started skateboarding at five, has already been approved by the AIS for the Emerging Categorisation Level with Skate Australia.

He currently trains 10-15 hours each week, at a skate park and in the gym.

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