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BMX racer crashes into official who walks onto Tokyo Olympics course

Niek Kimmann crashes on BMX track after colliding with an official crossing the field of play
Niek Kimmann crashes on BMX track after colliding with an official crossing the field of play (Image credit: Niek Kimmann/Instagram)

Another incident has struck the Dutch cycling team at the Tokyo Olympic Games, with former BMX World Champion Niek Kimmann colliding with an individual during a training run on the Ariake Urban Sports Park course.

The 25-year-old came out of a banked corner and hit full speed across a series of alternating jumps on the second straight of the course in Tokyo when an individual attempted to cross the course and Kimmann crashed into them. The individual was identified in a social media post by Kimman as being an official.

Both the official and Kimmann hit the tarmac hard, with Kimmann getting to his feet first and going back to check on the official. Kimmann said on Instagram that he had some knee pain in the hours following the collision, but hoped to be ready for the first rounds of competition on Thursday.

“So this is what happened today. Hit an official that wanted to cross the 2nd straight. Hope the official is O.K. My knee is sore, but will do my best to be ready for Thursday! Thanks everyone for the messages, appreciate it!” was the Instagram post from Kimmann that accompanied a video of the incident.

On Sunday, Mathieu van der Poel of the Dutch mountain bike team crashed out of contention in the cross-country race at the Tokyo Olympics. One of the riders expected to contest for a medal, Van der Poel suffered a hip injury from a fall he took in a rocky descent where he noted had included a wooden plank during his pre-ride of the course.

Olympic medals for BMX racing will be awarded for a fourth time this year, having first been handed out in 2008 in Beijing. Kimmann will be part of a three-rider men’s Dutch team that includes current UCI World Champion Twan van Gendt, who is expected to compete with a multiple-gear setup to give him more acceleration in the hole shot for the first straight, and Joris Harmsen, who won the 2015 world title in the time trial event.

Kimmann captured the BMX world title in Zolder in 2015 at the age of 19 and a year later finished seventh at the Rio Games. Most recently he won the 2019 European and BMX Supercross World Cup title. He is currently ranked third in the current UCI BMX elite rankings for men.

The BMX quarterfinal runs will be held Thursday, July 29 with semifinals and medal rounds on Friday at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.