And with that, enjoy the rest of your Olympic day/night.
Reminder of the medalists:
1. Charlotte Worthington (GBR)
2. Hannah Roberts (USA)
3. Nikita Ducarroz (SUI)
My goodness, what a competition.
You could’ve have scripted this any better. Most of the riders were thrilled to be in this spotlight, even if the crowd is a couple hundred rather than the bigger audience they would’ve had if not for the pandemic’s last surge.
Three-time world champion Hannah Roberts laid down a spectacular first run and broke into tears of joy. But Charlotte Worthington hinted at something otherworldly that she couldn’t quite land in her first run. In the second, she did it, and the rest of her run was also exceptional.
Those two athletes alone made this worth watching. But it’s not as if the others were unwatchable.
Here’s hoping skateboarders can raise their game to this level by the next Olympics.
GOLD FOR WORTHINGTON
Hannah Roberts is grimacing, and it seems like she should be happier. But then we see why. She’s limping. Still, she manages a shrug and a smile as she waves to her friends and family on the nice video hookups.
Diehm comes over to hug Roberts a couple of times.
Ducarroz does interviews.
Finally we see Worthington, who comes over and vies Roberts a nice big hug. Roberts says something to make Worthington laugh, then hugs the Team GB coach.
Hannah Roberts goes …
Her first run was spectacular. Then Worthington came out and did things that have not been done before. So can Roberts do in response?
She looks like she’s analyzing. She wants this gold.
And no … she stops her run. Double tailwhip, but then she stops atop a wall and waves in concession to Worthington.
Perris Benegas is solid and smooth. She’s so fluid through her tricks, including a nice 360. Not sure this’ll beat Ducarroz for bronze, though.
She’s pleased with how she did. It’s worth remembering that none of these people dreamed of being on a stage like this when they started riding. And they’ve all delivered.
I’m vamping because the judges seem to be taking enough time to negotiate a peace treaty.
Oooooh … just missed. 88.50, so close to the 89.20 Ducarroz posted to take bronze. She’s a little disappointed.
Celebrate good times …
(Now that I think of it, it’s odd that we don’t have music here. They play Led Zeppelin at the shooting range and Bloc Party’s “Banquet” over and over again at handball, but here, we just have some loud, annoying announcers.)
Ducarroz … crashes midway through the run. It was all pretty good before then, but she didn’t look like she was going to improve on her 89.20 from the first run.
She’s still on bronze medal position, and only Benegas can knock her off.
Worthington takes the lead …
97.50. Even if Roberts beats that with her second run, that’s a piece of history and something that’ll make Team GB very happy. Right? You’re all awake over there, aren’t you?
1. Worthington 97.50
2. Roberts 96.10, with her second run to come
3. Ducarroz 89.20, with her second run to come
4. Diehm 86.00, will not be on the podium
5. Benegas 81.20, with her second run to come, but good luck following that
Roberts is getting a pep talk with a few minutes before her second run.
I can’t even tell you how much better this is that the frankly embarrassing women’s skateboard park event.
Can Charlotte Worthington land the 360 backflip? Again, that seems to be the only way anyone could catch Roberts. But the spirit of extreme sports is about progression, and landing it would be a big deal even if the judges don’t place her ahead of Roberts.
SHE DOES IT!
Does it really matter what else she does? Well, sure. And after 50 seconds, she lands a FRONT flip.
Oh my. This might beat Roberts, who looks a little nervous as she watches a monitor.
Natalya Diehm was in third after the first run with a score of 86.00. She might want to do better to hold off Benegas and Worthington and clinch a medal. (Incidentally, Roberts has clinched a medal, which is a surprise to no one.)
Diehm immediately does the tailwhip. She’s also fond of doing the “look, ma, no hands” thing in the air. A 360 comes about 40 seconds into the run. But this just lacks a certain spark that she had in her first run. It’s an 80.50, a bit shy of her 86.00 from the first run. It’ll be a nervous wait.
This is not a sport for the dour, and Lessmann is bounding before she even starts. Oh, this should be fun.
About 20 seconds in, she twists the bike one way and then the other. But she’s not trying anything too spectacular, and she hits the brakes with about 15 seconds to go before continuing. It’s a 78.00, 1.6 shy of her first-run mark, so she remains in fifth.
OK, wake up, Australia …
Perez Grasset looks like she’s building up to something. She does indeed land a backflip. But you can hear the brakes squealing, as if something is still bothering her. Still, she pulls off a tailwhip toward the end. And still she’s not that happy, seeming dispirited as she goes up a ramp to the wall and attempts nothing of interest.
Could someone please cheer her up? OK, someone says something to make her smile during the interminable wait for scores that we all know won’t put her in contention.
And we keep waiting. Why? In any case, she seems to realize she’s on camera, and she offers a smile and a heart gesture with her hands.
It’s a 73.80, behind Oike in seventh place.
RUN 2 STARTS
Posadskikh’s second run derails early with a painful crash. She gets up, clearly distraught and in pain. But after about 30 seconds, she puts her helmet back on and shows a bit of resilience, completing her run. Still not happy, of course, but she gets a nice round of applause from the handful of people allowed to be here. Pity we didn’t have a crowd to fully appreciate her spirit.
Oike is all smiles, and it seems her goal for the second run is to land that backflip. She does. The rest of the run is fine, but it won’t catch the leaders. 75.40, good for sixth.
STANDINGS AFTER RUN 1
Remember — these aren’t averaged. Best run counts.
Good luck catching Roberts, who broke into tears of delight after her ride and again when the scores are announced.
Anyway, the standings:
1. Roberts (USA) 96.10
2. Ducarroz (SUI) 89.20
3. Diehm (AUS) 86.00
4. Benegas (USA) 81.20
5. Lessmann (GER) 79.60
6. Posadskikh (ROC) 63.00
The big question for the second run will be whether Worthington can land that 360 backflip, which might be the only way anyone can beat Roberts.
HANNAH ROBERTS does more in the first 10 seconds than anyone else has done. It’s a “double tailwhip,” in which she flips the bike 360 degrees under her legs twice. So that’s … 720 degrees.
Backflip, 360 … it’s just trick after trick after trick. She more than lived up to expectations on this one run. Simply at another level.
96.10. First place, of course.
GOOD EVENING AMERICA! Perris Benegas is up now, starting at the top of the halfpipe-ish thing. She looks a tad bit nervous but gives a nice smile and wave.
Her precision is impressive. Go up one ramp, land on the next. She turns the bike at odd angles in the air and makes it all look very easy. But there’s nothing dazzling, perhaps aside from an early 360. It’s still an 81.20, third place with one rider to go. (In the first run — everyone still has a second run to try to go one better.)
Nikita Ducarroz doesn’t seem that impressive for the first few seconds, with her best trick being a 360 that just seems pedestrian after what Worthington tried. But she saves a breathtaking, perfectly executed backflip for the latter half of the run, and she takes the lead at 89.20.
GOOD EVENING BRITAIN! Charlotte Worthington starts on a ridge (you can choose your starting point) and land a backflip in the first five seconds. Then she goes for something amazing … a backflip AND a 360. Yes, at the same time. The commentators tell us that has never been done in women’s competition. It’s really impressive …
… but she doesn’t quite land it. She lands an inch or two before the ramp and loses control.
That’s a 38.60, but we’re mostly interested in whether she lands that in the second run.
GOOD MORNING AUSTRALIA! It’s Natalya Diehm, and she’s looking good. For one thing, she lands a backflip — not completely clean, but impressive nonetheless. She’s disappointed with the last 10-15 seconds of her run, though, where she isn’t able to do much.
But it’s good enough for the lead — 86.00.
Lara Lessmann just looks like she’s having fun. Handlebar spins galore, a couple of tricks in which she turns the bike at a sharp angle, a foot plant high up on a wall, and my favorite, in which she kicks her right leg over the bar of her bike between the seat and the handlebars.
That’s a 79.60, which won’t be too far off the lead in the end. She’ll have a second run to improve upon that, and I’m looking forward to it.
Chile’s Macarena Perez Grasset also waves off her second run, though nothing calamitous had happened. She hits the brakes, literally. Some riders can’t do that because they opt not to have brakes on the biks.
Oike Minato, the host country’s favorite, proves the point. A few seconds into her one-minute run, she goes for a backflip. Unfortunately, she rotates too far, has a rough landing and falls off the bike. She’s all smiles, though, as she grabs her bike and calmly lets time expire. She’ll save it for the second run.
Elizaveta Posadskikh just doesn’t seem to be at quite the same level as what we’ll see later. She gets nice air on a couple of jumps, she spins the handebars on one of those jumps and so forth, but you’re going to see much more complicated trips later. She gets a 63.00, better than she did in the seeding runs.
We’re three minutes away. It’s 30 degrees Celsius, which translated to American numbers is “Georgia.”
The top six from all the major events
2017 world championship
1. Hannah Roberts (USA)
2. Lara Marie Lessmann (GER)
3. Angie Marino (USA)
4. Minato Oike (JPN)
5. Teresa Fernandez-Miranda (ESP)
6. Mini Park (KOR)
2018 world championship
1. Perris Benegas (USA)
2. Marino (USA)
3. Roberts (USA)
4. Lessmann (GER)
5. Fernandez-Miranda (ESP)
6. Nikita Ducarroz (SUI)
2019 world championship
1. Roberts (USA)
2. Macarena Perez Grasset (CHI)
3. Charlotte Worthington (GBR)
4. Lessman (GER)
5. Ducarroz (SUI)
6. Natalya Diehm (AUS)
2021 world championship
1. Roberts (USA)
2. Perez Grasset (CHI)
3. Worthington (GBR)
4. Lessmann (GER)
5. Ducarroz (SUI)
6. Diehm (AUS)
Qualifying runs in Tokyo (yesterday)
1. Roberts (USA)
2. Benegas (USA)
3. Ducarroz (SUI)
4. Worthington (GBR)
5. Diehm (AUS)
6. Lessmann (GER)
7. Perez Grasset (CHI)
8. Oike (JPN)
9. Elizaveta Posadskikh (ROC)
So, yeah, Hannah Roberts is the favorite. And she recently got married. And in a few days, she’ll turn 20. Yes, 20.
But why use motors when you can just pedal furiously?
If you were alive in the late 70s and early 80s, you may know what’s going. Yes, it’s a clip from the show CHiPS, in which a couple of highway patrolmen with fabulous hair go around proving that they’re nice guys, all to a disco beat.
Note that they do a few tricks along the way. Eventually, some people decided that doing the tricks without racing, both on motorcycles and bicycles, was interesting in and of itself, and the bicyclists decided they didn’t need dirt, and that’s where we are now.
The history of BMX is long and complicated.
First, there’s motocross, in which motorcyclists raced on dirt tracks with 180-degree turns and jumps. If you’d like to watch a race and hear someone yelling at you about how awesome it is, watch this …
A quick glimpse of what you’re about to see is right here. To see how in the world gold medal favorite Hannah Roberts ends up in this position and lands safely, you’re just going to have to watch, either now or on the highlights section of the site of the broadcaster of your choice (or country).
Good morning/evening all. The Olympics have been adding more events in which people on wheels and surfboards do things that ordinary people can’t do on wheels and surfboards. In this case, in a little less than an hour, we’re going to see women flip, spin and do other tricks that will amaze those of us who prefer our bicycles to remain on the ground.
If you have thoughts about what you’re seeing or what you’re reading, email me or tweet at me at the links above, won’t you?
Beau will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s news of a grim incident from the men’s BMX:
American BMX racer Connor Fields suffered a brain bleed during a horror crash in Friday’s Olympic event but has been moved out of intensive care, his team confirmed on Saturday.
Fields went down hard in a first-corner crash during the semi-final runs and was treated by the side of the circuit before being rushed to Tokyo’s St Luke’s International Hospital.
“The doctors reported that Fields sustained a brain hemorrhage at the venue,” USA Cycling said on Saturday.
“After a night in the ICU, the doctors are pleased to report that there has been no additional bleeding, and no new injuries were found. Fields has been moved out of the critical care unit and will remain in the hospital until cleared.”
Olympic BMX women’s park: Charlotte Worthington beats Hannah Roberts to gold – live! | Sport Source link Olympic BMX women’s park: Charlotte Worthington beats Hannah Roberts to gold – live! | Sport