Taka Higashino Takes X Fighters Win In Osaka

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Taka Higashino Takes X Fighters Win In Osaka

Taka Higashino (JPN) celebrates his win at the fourth stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013

Hometown hero Taka Higashino of Japan won the first Red Bull X-Fighters event of his career, upsetting World Tour leader Tom Pages of France in a thrilling final in front of Osaka Castle watched by 11,000 fans as the world’s most prestigious freestyle motorcross series made its eagerly awaited debut in East Asia. American Adam Jones took third place in Osaka. The event marked the fourth stop of the six-round 2013 Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour, which has now produced four different winners in four events. Pages still leads the overall Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour heading to the next stop in Madrid next month.

On an evening that put a spotlight on Japanese traditions, Higashino had the excited crowd behind him every jump of the way through the quarter-finals to the semi-finals and into the final against Pages. After dominating the Qualifying on Friday, the Frenchman was the hot favorite to win the main event, where the riders leaped up to 100 feet in distance and 50 feet high while performing gravity-defying tricks. But the 28-year-old Japanese ace had the run of his life. Higashino grew up just 15 minutes away from the breathtaking venue next to the majestic Osaka Castle in the Nishinomaru Garden. He left his hometown of Osaka seven years ago for the FMX hotbed of California. He became an instant legend in Japan on Saturday.

Thomas Pages of France, winner Taka Higashino of Japan and Adam Jones of the United States celebrate during the award ceremony of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan.

“I can’t believe it,” Higashino said after winning the nail-biting final against Pages by a score of 3-2. “Tom and I had a great final. I didn’t think that I had won. It is an honor win here.” Pages had another spectacular run and won the Swatch Best Move award for his crowd-pleasing Double Nac Indian Whip. He also aced the Flair, the Volt and the Special Flip. It was a disappointing night for defending World Tour champion Levi Sherwood of New Zealand and 2011 champion Dany Torres of Spain; both were unceremoniously eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Daice Suzuki of Japan performs during the qualifying of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on May 31st, 2013 // Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130531-00118 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Adam Jones (USA) performs in the qualifying round of the 4th round of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Osaka, Japan on May 31st, 2013 // Jason Halayko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130531-00184 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Adam Jones of the United States performs during the qualifying at the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on May 31st, 2013 // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130531-00207 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Todd Potter of the United States performs during the qualifying at the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on May 31st, 2013 // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130531-00211 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Thomas Pages of France, winner Taka Higashino of Japan and Adam Jones of the United States celebrate during the award ceremony of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00099 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Thomas Pages of France performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00103 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Mat Rebeaud of Switzerland performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00105 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Josh Sheehan of Australia performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jörg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00107 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Adam Jones from the United States of America performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00114 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Adam Jones from the United States of America performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00115 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Levi Sherwood of New Zealand performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00122 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Adam Jones (USA) performs at the 4th stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jason Halayko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00147 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Adam Jones (USA) performs at the 4th stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jason Halayko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00149 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Thomas Pages (FRN) performs at the 4th stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jason Halayko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00158 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Taka Higashino (JPN) celebrates his win at the 4th stop of the Red Bull X-Fighters in Osaka, Japan on June 1st, 2013 // Jason Halayko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00162 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Taka Higashino of Japan performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1, 2013. // Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00167 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Taka Higashino of Japan performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1, 2013.  // Sebastian Marko/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00168 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Thomas Pages of France and Taka Higashino of Japan celebrate during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1, 2013. // Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00174 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Dany Torres of Spain performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1, 2013.  // Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00176 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Samurais seen during the opening ceremony before finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1, 2013.  // Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00177 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Thomas Pages of France performs during the finals of the fourth stage of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour in Osaka, Japan on June 1, 2013.  // Predrag Vuckovic/Red Bull Content Pool // P-20130601-00239 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Results
1. Taka Higashino (JPN)
2. Tom Pages (FRA)
3. Adam Jones (USA)
4. Rob Adelberg (AUS)
5. Levi Sherwood (NZL)
6. Dany Torres (ESP)
7. Javier Villegas (CHL)
8. David Rinaldo (FRA)
9. Josh Sheehan (AUS)
10. Daisuke Suzuki (JPN)

World Tour Standings
1. Pages 325 points
2. Adelberg 265
3. Torres 245
4. Sherwood 190
5. Higashino 165
6. Sheehan 110
7. Jones 110.
8. Rinaldo 105
9. Villegas 85
10. Maikel Melero (ESP) 60