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Despite being a recent addition to the Olympic Games, the BMX event is one of the most exciting events to watch at the Olympics. The fast and furious nature of this event means that crashes are highly likely to occur. Seedings are decided by an initial time trial. After this, the elimination phase begins in which riders will try to outpace each other through a 400 meter obstacle course. Each rider has three chances to manoeuvre through the obstacle course before a winner-takes-all one run-final.
Men’s BMX Race
The USA’s Gold medal drought in BMX racing finally came to an end on Friday the 19th when Connor Fields sped through the obstacle course masterfully to clinch a gold medal for his country. The American moved to the front of the pack and kept his lead right up to the finish, thereby holding off stiff competition from Netherland’s Jelle Van Gorkom and Colombia’s Carlos Ramirez Yepes. Fields couldn’t hide his delight at helping his country win the elusive Gold medal after finishing the course in 34.642 seconds. Van Gorkom and Yepes had to settle for Silver and Bronze medals respectively after finishing the course in 35.316 seconds and 35.517 seconds. Yepes won the bronze medal in dramatic fashion by edging out American Nic Long in a photo finish. Fields started training only in June this year after breaking a bone in his left hand earlier in the year.
Women’s BMX Race
Columbia and USA had the privilege of winning a total of two medals in the Men’s and Women’s BMX race held on Friday. Defending Champion Mariana Pajon of Columbia put on a wonderful display of speed and skill to win the Gold medal for her country. Pajon was clearly a fan favourite considering the support she received from the Columbian fans on race day. The Columbian raised her bicycle in celebration towards the adoring crowd after crossing the finish line in 34.093 seconds. Alise Post of USA won the silver medal after finishing in 34.435 seconds and Stefany Hernandez of Venezuela won the Bronze medal after finishing in 34.755 seconds.
The BMX cycling event ended on a high note on Friday with the spectators showing great support to the riders on the track.