The Japan Cycling Federation on Tuesday named four riders to the host nation’s BMX team for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Rim Nakamura and Minato Oike will represent Japan in the BMX freestyle park competition, a newly added Olympic discipline that is trick-focused with riders’ performances scored by judges.
Yoshitaku Nagasako and Sae Hatakeyama will compete in the BMX racing event, a full-gas sprint race held on a dirt track featuring bumps, jumps and banked turns.
“I want to ride mistake-free during my one minute (on the course), and hopefully the result will follow,” Nakamura said.
Nakamura claimed his first-ever UCI World Cup win in Chengdu, China, in November, and the 18-year-old finished the season at the top of the overall classification. Oike won her first UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup event in May 2018 in Montpellier, France.
Nagasako will make his second straight Olympic appearance after finishing 12th at the Rio Games in 2016, while Hatakeyama makes her Olympic debut. She will be the first Japanese woman to enter an Olympic BMX racing event.
“I’m really happy. I’m going to give it my all to get a good result. I want to perfect my technical aspects which still need work,” Hatekeyama said.
As the host country, Japan receives one guaranteed quota place per gender in the BMX freestyle and BMX racing disciplines.
At the Tokyo Olympics, the BMX events will be held at Ariake Urban Sports Park alongside skateboarding.
The 2020 Olympic Games were postponed for one year due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been rescheduled to start on July 23, 2021 and will run until Aug. 8.