by Chris Bierton August 01, 2021 3 min read
Coming into the final, Hannah Roberts of the USA was an almost un-backable favourite. She seemed unbeatable - and her first run didn't give us any reason to think otherwise - scoring a 96 straight out of the gate to top the leader board.
Nikita Ducarroz continued her solid form to be in 2nd place after the first runs, and Perris Benegas was just off the podium in 4th spot. The big surprise came when Charlotte Worthington tried a 360 Flip at the start of her run.... no one saw that coming! She crashed out... but her intentions were clear. No safety runs. No holding back. She wanted Gold....
Our girl Natalya put in a very solid run, so score mid 80s - and sat in the Bronze at the end of the first runs. But it looked like she tweaked her knee mid run... which meant she couldn't quite finish it off the way she wanted - and her 2nd run was a bit reserved too. But Nat should be insanely proud of her efforts (we are), we did Aus so proud, and a very well deserved 5th place at the Olympics is nothing to sneeze at.
The other Girls, Elizaveta, Minato, Lara & Macarena all rode well in both runs, but were out of the top 5 race it seemed. They all looked like they had an awesome time but - and did themselves super proud at the Olympics!
Coming into the 2nd runs for the top 4, there hadn't been much movement in the scores. Hannah Roberts on top... Natalya holding onto the podium... enter Charlotte Worthington of the UK.
She dropped in... flipped the big spine... and then sent the 360 flip again... and LANDED IT! The crowd (and us at home) lost it - Hannah Roberts was suddenly nervous.... but there was 50seconds left - could she keep this going??
Well, turns out she can! Whips, spines and then... a FRONT FLIP over the box - and a flair to finish! Unbelievable run - two tricks never done by a woman before in Freestyle BMX competition. The wait for the score was intense... and there it was - a 97!!! She was in the top spot and team GB went nuts! No one on the outside saw this coming.
Nikita was next, now in the bronze medal spot, and she couldn't improve her score. She'd have a nervous wait while Perris rode one last time to see if she'd keep a medal... and unfortunately Natalya was in 4th now.
Perris Benegas had a better run than her 1st - and the judges thought long and hard.... before putting her in 4th - just ahead of Natalya. Nikita Ducarroz would win a bronze medal.
This left Hannah Roberts... with one run to reclaim the gold that so many thought was already hers. She dropped in... and blew a foot off her double whip - it was all over - she waved off her run, know she couldn't top the score now, and Charlotte Worthington of the UK become Olympic Champion in one of the biggest upsets in BMX.
1. Charlotte Worthington - 97.50
2. Hannah Roberts - 96.10
3. Nikita Ducarroz - 89.20
4. Perris Benegas - 88.50
5. Natalya Diehm - 86.00
6. Lara Lessman - 79.60
7. Minato Oike - 75.40
8. Macarena Perez Grasset - 73.80
9. Elizaveta Posadskikh - 63.00
You can find the full results and run scores on the Olympic Site.
And seriously, we recommend you re-watch the action on 7Plus App - it's just too good.
Womens Freestyle BMX has progressed so fast in the last few years - and we can't wait to see it keep growing. There is no reason girls can't ride a bike as well as the boys - and we're so proud to have trail-blazers like Natalya showing the way.
After what she's overcome with knee injuries over the years, she is an absolute inspiration and should be so immensely proud of her performance - we sure as hell are!
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