Australia’s Logan Martin has won the men’s BMX Freestyle, with the world champion securing the nation its first cycling gold medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games with his very first run.
The 27 year old rider from Queensland’s Gold Coast slotted straight into the gold medal position early delivering a score of 93.3 with a beautifully executed series of tricks in his first minute-long appearance in the final.
“I won the seeding run, then came out here and my first run was actually a safety run," said Martin. "I wanted to land a run I knew I could deliver, make it clean, keep it consistent, and that really paid off."
Venezuela’s veteran of the sport Daniel Dhers, 36, was the only other rider who scored over 90 in his first minute which meant the pressure was on all the other riders to rise to the mark set by Logan when they set out for their second and final run on the Ariake Urban Sports Park on Sunday.
Being the top seeded rider, Martin was last out so for him it was a matter of sitting back and waiting to see if the rest of the 9 strong-field could deliver a better performance. As the rest of the riders came through it was again Dhers who delivered the biggest challenge, increasing his initial score of 90.10, but at 92.05 it wasn’t enough to challenge Martin. It was, however, enough to secure the silver medal.
The medals had already been decided when Martin came out for his second run, and for a moment it looked like he might just deliver an even higher score. However, he ultimately decided to spend much of his minute long final run savouring his win, which secured the first ever gold medal to be awarded at the Olympics for the men’s BMX Freestyle
"I had more to do in my second run, but I obviously didn’t need to do it," said Martin. "I did do the front bike flip (in my second run), but I just wanted to do that for the fans and everyone watching back home.
“I have no words. This is crazy. It’s been such a long journey to get here. I fully set out to get here and win the gold medal. I came in as the favourite after winning the world championships last month, so I had a lot of pressure coming into Japan.
The gold medal is not the first landmark event victory for Martin, with the Australian taking out the first-ever World Cup in 2016 and the first World Championships in 2017 at the UCI Urban worlds in China.
“I’ve had so many highs in my career, but I’ve never, ever gotten teary, so that just shows how meaningful this one is to me," said the father of one, with another on the way. "It’s the biggest stage of them all, the gold medal, to bring that home and show my son. For him to look up to me … it’s amazing.”
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