Aussie Focus

Logan Martin wins BMX Freestyle world championships

Logan Martin took out his second world title in the BMX Freestyle world championships in Montpellier, France, taking out the title as Australia just failed to secure the top qualifying spot to the Tokyo Olympics.

It was ecstasy and agony for Australia at the 2021 UCI BMX Freestyle World Championships in France on Monday, with Logan Martin celebrating a second world title in four years while a knee injury sadly ended reigning world champion Brandon Loupos’ title defense.

"It feels amazing. I came out here and wanted to pull a good ride and take the win," said Martin, who claimed the inaugural world title in 2017. "That is two times now, and I am super stoked. I am speechless."
Twelve riders took to the Montpellier BMX Freestyle Park for the 2021 World Championships final, with Australia featuring four riders in Logan Martin, Brandon Loupos, Josh Matthews and Jaie Toohey.

BMX Freestyle Park, which will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, is an adrenaline-fueled mix of tricks and jumps over a series of ramps and obstacles. Athletes complete two one-minute runs each, with judges scoring on difficulty, originality, style, flow, risk, height and execution of tricks. The riders are ranked by the best score from their two runs.

The start of the final was delayed for 45 minutes following the crash of a rider in training which would, unfortunately, set the tone for what turned out to be a crashed-marred final.

Brandon Loupos was the first rider to take to course, with the 2019 world champion looking strong with a host of scorching tricks early in his first one-minute run. However, heartbreak followed when his foot slipped on the pedal, which sent the Sydney rider crashing to the floor.

Clutching his right knee, Loupos was quickly stretchered off by event medical staff. Despite a brave second attempt at completing his opening run less than ten minutes later, still visibly in pain, Loupos retired just moments into his second run. His first run score of 39 points placed him eleventh overall.

2017 world champion Logan Martin stunned with an array of tricks in his opening one-minute run to rocket to the top of the standings with a score of 94.90points. In his second run, Martin chose fewer but more challenging tricks, with his near-flawless run judged to a score of 93.30points.

Martin celebrated his victory in the Team Australia pits after watching the final two riders fall short of bettering Martin's opening run score of 94.90 points. Daniel Sandoval (USA) won silver, while Marin Rantes (Croatia) took bronze.

The World Championships was Martin's first international competition in over twelve months after spending the last 15 months in Australia, where he claimed the 2021 national crown in March.

"While we have had a year and a half off, we have all put in so much hard work and the competition has stepped up so much," said Martin, 27. "The last year never really slowed down for me. I just rode as much as I could, stayed focus all the way up to this event. It has paid off today. It is such a good feeling.

"The competition was tough out there today, I did just want to do my run, I had a good run planned. While I didn't do what I wanted to do completely, I still got a high score and next time, hopefully I will pull out the one I want to get done."

"Going into this event we were trying to top America. But I came here just trying to do my best, I knew I had done all the work, and it all paid off today."

Matthews and Toohey impressed from the opening day while on their World Championships debut, finishing sixth and tenth, respectively.

Matthews scored 74.40points in his first run and lifted in his second run to score 85.70points. Toohey crashed seconds into his first run but recovered to make a stunning comeback in his second run, which saw him attract a score of 60.60points despite hitting the deck late.

Team Australia will head fly out of France tomorrow and back to Australia to complete two weeks of hotel quarantine before resuming training on the Gold Coast.

The World Championships also provided the final opportunity for nations to secure points toward the UCI Tokyo Olympic Qualification Rankings, with the nation at the top of the rankings at the end of the qualification period securing two male athlete positions at the Games.

With Australia and the USA deadlocked in first place entering the Championships, positions in Tokyo would come down to the best World Championships performances from each nation’s top two ranked UCI riders.

As the USA claimed more points after taking a second and fourth through Sandoval and Dowell, compared to Australia’s first and eleventh placings secured by Martin and Loupos, the USA will finish the UCI Tokyo Olympic Qualification Rankings in first place.

There hasn't been an official statement to date from the UCI as to the final Olympic rankings. The BMX Freestyle selections to the Australian Olympic Team will be announced later in June.

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5 min read
Published 8 June 2021 at 12:13pm
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS