Pursuing a Lofty Goal!
There's a PokéRinger competition today in the windy town of Squallville, and James—in disguise—is using Jessie's Yanmega for a practice match. PokéRinger is a sport where two flying Pokémon compete to grab a ring and place it on a pole; after our heroes ask James about it, Ash decides to enter the competition. Of course, James and Yanmega will be there, hoping to achieve an honest victory. And Rhonda the reporter is covering the event with her Sinnoh Now news team, too!
The competition begins with Ash and Staravia facing a Trainer named Taylor and his Skarmory. The two Pokémon battle over the ring before Staravia takes advantage of a sudden wind gust to hit Skarmory with Aerial Ace and win the match. Ash is pleased, then shocked once he hears the match-up for the next round: Paul will battle a four-time PokéRinger champion! Paul ignores Ash and sends out his Honchkrow to battle the defending champion's Dragonite.
Paul is able to read the wind, so as the two Pokémon battle furiously over the ring, he tells Honchkrow to ride the current. Honchkrow gets behind Dragonite and, thanks to its Super Luck Ability, knocks Dragonite out in one blow. Next up are James and Yanmega, facing a boy and his Skiploom. The two stare each other down, studying the wind for the right moment to act. Alas, James can't actually read the wind at all, and Skiploom wins while Yanmega struggles in the breeze!
The competition continues until it's down to Ash vs. Paul in the final round. Ash's Staravia gets to the ring first but Paul's Honchkrow is a tough foe, and the battle goes back and forth until Honchkrow finally knocks Staravia to the ground. As Honchkrow dives in for the knockout blow, Staravia takes to the air and evolves into Staraptor. Still, Staraptor's new Close Combat move can't stop Honchkrow from getting ahead of it. Yet at the last second, Staravia uses its wing to knock the ring onto the pole, making Ash the winner. Paul still ignores Ash but Ash has bigger things to think about... like his upcoming Snowpoint Gym battle!