August 26th, 2006

CALGARY (Saturday, August 26, 2006) ––Sandro Dias of Brazil, the reigning X Games gold medallist, holds top spot in the Vert competition after a strong first run in qualifying Friday at the $100,000 USD Slam City North American skateboard championships at Stampede Park.

He will head into Sunday's Vert finals leading a field of Vert professionals which also includes Neal Hendrix of Redondo Beach, Ca., Jean Postec of Annecy, France, Lincoln Ueda of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Canadian Anthony Hancock of Calgary, Alta.

Dias and Postec are at Slam City Jam two weeks after strong performances at X Games 12 in Los Angeles. Dias, a 31-year-old Brazilian champion from Santo Andrede, won gold and USD $50,000 at the X Games while Postec, a 21-year-old rising star from Annecy, France, placed ninth.

The Slam City Vert championships are being held at the Round Up Centre at Stampede Park on the $1,000,000 Boom Boom Huck Jam vert ramp designed and built by international skateboarding icon Tony Hawk and his company, TH Events, Inc.

Next door at the Calgary Corral, many of the world's Street pros -- including Canadians Chris Haslam of Richmond, B.C. and Jesse Langden of Oakville, Ont.
and X Games star Greg Lutzka of Huntington Beach, Ca. -- are qualifying today for Sunday's championship finals.

Dias used an outstanding first run to earn a score of 83.00 points in the Vert qualifying. He is 1.25 points ahead of Hendrix, who relied on an 81.75 second run score to finish second in qualifying.

Hendrix and Dias are renewing a Vert rivalry that has been long-established at the X Games.

"With the guys here on the ramp that we have here, everyone will have to be doing their best stuff to win Sunday," said American Hendrix.

Hendrix is a 33-year-old professional who is marking his 13th consecutive appearance at Slam City Jam.

"I know that's what I'll have to do to do well in the finals," said Hendrix, who has eight career X Games medals, including silver medals and six bronze.

"I've always been a bit jinxed here, but it's one that I'm keen to shine at and I'm feeling great going into the finals," said Hendrix, who has never finished higher than fifth-place at Slam City Jam.

Also in strong contention going into the final round Sunday at the Calgary Corral are Postec and Ueda. Postec is in third place after qualifying with 80.00 points while Ueda is fourth with 79.75 points. Mike Frazier of the U.S.
is fifth at 78.50 points.

The Vert and Street finals for both men and women are slated for Sunday.

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