The FISE World Series event has begun in Montpellier ©FISE

Josh Hult topped slopestyle mountain bike qualification as the International Festival of Extreme Sports (FISE) series got underway in Montpellier.

Hult produced an impressive performance in the French city, with several tricks helping him to the top of the standings.

The American achieved a score of 87.66 points, with France’s Thibault Figone finishing in second on 85.33.

Franck Paulin completed the top three as the Frenchman scored 78.

The top seven finishes qualified to join the 25 riders who qualified through the Freeride Mountain Bike (FMB) rankings.

Skateboarding began with Simon Stricker finishing as the winner of the qualification, as the Swiss scored 86.

England’s George Poole was second after ending four points behind, while France’s Benjamin Garcia was third on 80.60.

Competition is to continue tomorrow in Montpellier.

The event is set to feature the first parkour competition under the International Gymnastics Federation’s (FIG) control on Sunday (May 28).

Serving as a model for a proposed urban cluster at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and future Games, the 2017 FISE includes several other competitions, notably BMX freestyle, boulder climbing and roller skating.

Representatives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be present to observe the new trends in view of Tokyo 2020.

A parkour event is due to be held by the FIG on May 28 ©Getty Images
A parkour event is due to be held by the FIG on May 28 ©Getty Images

Earlier this month, the FIG confirmed it had given its approval in principle for a new discipline in gymnastics based on obstacle course competitions.

FIG expects to include two formats of competitive obstacle course events in the new discipline - obstacle course sprint, an against-the-clock format, and an obstacle course freestyle event based on performances that will be judged.

For the organisation of these planned competitions and initiations, the FIG said it had partnered with the US-based APEX as well as The Netherlands' JUMP Freerun and the Mouvement International du Parkour, Freerunning et l'Art du déplacement via its President Charles Perrière.

APEX has announced the end of its collaboration with FIG in a statement this month, citing "a lot of conflicting information" that has surfaced.

This includes matters regarding control and protection, naming and the governance of parkour.

Last month, Parkour UK accused the FIG of "encroachment and misappropriation" and called for the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which would "formally acknowledge the recognised sovereignty of parkour/freerunning".

The London-based organisation also threatened to take the issue to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if an MoU was not established within 60 days of a formal meeting between Parkour UK and the FIG.

On Saturday (May 13), the Australian Parkour Association (APA) showed its support for the "encroachment and misappropriation" claims.