It was an Olympic Games debut for BMX Freestyle in Tokyo and Great Britain's Charlotte Worthington secured the first-ever gold medal in the event with a gutsy history-making backflip 360. Then in the men's competition the sheer precision in the execution of the "safety run" laid down by Logan Martin delivered victory for the Australian with a knack for delivering in the landmark moments.
Great Britain's Worthington went all in with the high risk strategy, attempting a trick never before seen in women's competition and she fell in her first attempt. Three-time world champion Hannah Roberts of the United States then went on to deliver such a well executed, trick filled first run that she laster said "might have been one of the best runs I've ever done." It earned he a score of 96.1.
That meant Worthington's next minute on the Ariake Urban Sports Park had to be nothing short of spectacular to even have a chance at gold, so she got back up and pulled off that backflip 360, nestled within a spectacular series of tricks, to overtake the high mark set by Roberts. The rider from Manshester chalked up a huge score of 97.5 to take the victory with an audacious performance that left her competition with nothing to do but voice their admiration.
For Australia's Martin, his first run wasn't about taking risks but about safety, with the rider from the Gold Coast indicating at the end of his first minute that he had more to reveal. The run of tricks, however, was so well executed that, even though he was holding something in reserve, he shot straight into the gold medal position. Now, the top seeded rider just had to sit back and see if any one of the other eight could top him with their second run.
The closest was Venezuela Daniel Dhers who, clearly delighted with his run, managed to deliver a score of 92.05. That was enough for silver but not to challenge the 93.3 Martin delivered in his first minute long appearance. That meant the Australian had nothing left to do but savour the victory when he lined up as the last rider on the park. He delivered a front bike flip anyway, for the benefit of those watching, before celebrating Olympic gold.
For pictures of the flips, tailwhips, falls and celebrations delivered by the 18 riders who took part in the first-ever Olympics appearance for BMX Freestyle, click through the gallery above.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.