"We want Rome to become the Wimbledon of skateboarding."
Rome will host the Street Skateboarding World Championships at the Foro Italico sporting complex from 30 May until 6 June.
The international event will act as a qualification event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, taking place this summer, in which skateboarding will make its debut as an Olympic sport.
The Rome event will see 200 athletes from 40 countries battle it out for six passes to the Olympic Games, postponed last year due to the covid-19 pandemic.
The finals will be held on 6 June when the top three male and three female skateboarders will qualify for Tokyo either by finishing on the podium or collecting enough points in the Olympic rankings.
Italy is pinning its hopes on Asia Lanzi from Bologna, while international talents to watch out for include Nyjah Huston from the US, Yuto Horigome from Japan, and Pamela Rosa and Leticia Bufoni, both from Brazil.
The event was presented at Rome's Colle Oppio skate park, located directly opposite the Colosseum, on 20 May.
Speaking at the launch, the city's mayor Virginia Raggi said: "We want to promote the talent of young people by giving them safe and suitable spaces where they can express themselves."
The mayor, currently seeking to be re-elected, underlined Rome's commitment to skateboarding thanks to the newly-inaugurated skate park in Ostia as well as other projects in the pipeline.
Also present at the launch was Sabatino Aracu, president of World Skate, who declared enthusiastically: "We want Rome to become the Wimbledon of skateboarding."
Separately, Rome is set to host the Open Street Skateboard from 2022 to 2025, an international event organised by government body Sport e Salute in collaboration with the Italian Roller Sports Federation.
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Rome hosts Street Skateboarding World Championships
Viale del Foro Italico, 00135 Roma RM, Italy
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