Great Britain's Charlotte Worthington wins gold in BMX freestyle's Olympic debut
Australia's Logan Martin claims gold in the men's competition
Britain's Charlotte Worthington put on a show in BMX freestyle's Olympic debut, leading the first 360 backflip in women's competition to knock off American Hannah Roberts Sunday at the Tokyo Games.
Roberts, a three-time world champion at age 19, set the bar in her opening run, landing a backflip with a tailspin for a 96.1.
Worthington crashed on her first run but pulled out all the stops in her second. The 25-year-old added a front flip to her 360 backflip and closed with another backflip for a 97.5.
Roberts, the top seed, had a chance to top the Brit, but she landed hard off an early jump and waved off the rest of her second run.
Nikita Ducarroz of Switzerland took bronze with an 89.2 in her second run.
BMX freestyle's rim-wrecking roots were planted in the flying action-sports carnival of the X Games in the 1990s, and later in offshoots like the Dew Tour and Gravity Games.
BMX racing, freestyle's cousin, has been in the Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Games. Freestyle continued soaring until it had to be included, too.
Freestyle took a huge leap forward — with a twist, of course — when it came under the umbrella of the Union Cycliste International in 2016, further legitimizing the sport and giving the top riders a place to compete on a World Cup circuit.
The first BMX freestyle championships were held in 2017 — won by Roberts and Logan Martin of Australia — and the sport was added to the Olympic program later that year with surfing, sport climbing, 3-on-3 basketball, skateboarding and karate.
Australia's Logan Martin wins BMX freestyle
Australia's Logan Martin capped quite a show in BMX freestyle's Olympic debut, putting together a sterling first run to win gold at the Tokyo Games.
The 27-year-old two-time world champion posted a 93.3 in his first ride and watched as the other eight riders failed to catch him. Martin went for a victory lap after the final rider made his second run, but cut it short after a hard landing on a jump.
Venezuela's Daniel Dhers secured silver with a 92.05 on his second run and Britain's Declan Brooks had a second-run 90.8 to take bronze.