Youth Olympic Games: Hosts Argentina share BMX Freestyle gold with Germany

Oct 12, 2018, 15:44 PM

BMX Freestyle burst onto the Olympic scene with its debut at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) taking place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 6-18.

On the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the new young discipline was showcased to large crowds in the Argentinean capital’s Urban Park.

Organised as a team event (comprising one man and one woman) for the YOG, the BMX Freestyle competition saw the scores of both team members added together to calculate the ranking.

In the final, Germany’s Lara Lessmann won the women’s competition ahead of Argentina’s Agustina Roth, while in the men’s competition it was the host country’s Inaki Iriartes who edged out the winner of Wednesday’s qualifier Evan Brandes (Germany).

With the first and second places awarded 15 and 10 points respectively, both Argentina and Germany scored 25 points, ensuring they shared the gold medal. The Japanese team of Kanami Tanno and Yuma Oshimo won bronze.

Athletes in BMX Freestyle Park perform 60-second runs through a BMX park containing obstacles such as ramps and jumps. Riders are judged on factors including difficulty, originality and style.

It is a cycling discipline that attracts youths into the sport of cycling, and can be easily practised in urban settings, as confirmed by gold medallist Inaki Iriartes: “We come from a street scene, where we don’t have any rules. But it’s a pride to take part in the Olympic Games and also to be able to share it with very talented girls,” he told the Olympic News Service.

The UCI integrated BMX Freestyle Park into its range of disciplines in 2015, and the first UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup was introduced the following year. The exciting young discipline is also part of the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships, whose second edition will take place in Chengdu, China, next month.

Cycling action will continue in Buenos Aires from October 13 to 17 with the mixed combined (mountain bike and road) event.