Aussie fans will have every reason to feel confident when BMX Freestyle gets underway at Glasgow Green later this week.
One of Australia’s strongest chances for a rainbow jersey headlines a strong team selected to compete at the 2023 UCI BMX Freestyle World Championship, with current world number one Logan Martin carrying solid form into the event.
Martin has already claimed two gold medals and a bronze at the three UCI World Cup events in 2023 and will be out to reclaim the rainbow jersey he previously held in 2017 and 2021.
While Australia will be without 2019 world champion Brandon Loupos who continues to rehabilitate from an ACL reconstruction, the Elite Men’s team nonetheless features three other top 25 riders in the world.
Jaie Toohey is having potentially a career-best season. After starting the year with silver medals at both the Oceania and National Championships, Toohey announced himself with fourth at the UCI World Cup in Montpellier followed by a top 15 finish at the World Cup in Brussells, catapulting the Gold Coast rider to 10th in the world.
Joshua Matthews (World #22) and Alec Danelutti (#25) round out the Elite Men contingent, with both riders also giving reason for optimism.
Danelutti finished 14th in Brussels and took bronze at the Oceania Championships behind Martin and Toohey, while Matthews finished 6th at the 2021 World Championships and has consistently posted solid results over the last nine months, highlighted by 7th place at the World Cup on the Gold Coast last December.
Australia will also send possibly its strongest ever Elite Women’s team to a World Championship, with Natalya Diehm and Sarah Nicki carrying Aussie hopes.
Diehm continues to show promise in her return from an ACL injury suffered in 2021, rising to #18 in the world after reaching the finals at both Montpellier and Brussels this year, and the 25-year-old is eagerly anticipating competing in Glasgow.
“I’m super excited to be representing Australia again in the 2023 World Championships, as my last one was in 2019,” Diehm told AusCycling.
“I’m not too sure what to expect other than it’s going to be insane and almost replicate the Olympic Games, as every cycling discipline will be competing in Glasgow. I’ve been working really hard the last seven months returning from injury and to progress as much as I can for this competition.
“My training up until now has far exceeded what I thought I’d be able to do so I can’t wait to show the world!” Diehm added.
16-year-old and world #23 Nicki continues to emerge as the next star of Australian female BMX Freestyle, winning gold at the 2023 National and Oceania Championships, and finishing top-20 in the World Cup events at Montpellier and the Gold Coast.
Japan’s Rimu Nakamura is the Elite Men’s defending champion, while Hannah Roberts (USA) will be out to claim her fifth rainbow jersey in the Elite Women’s competition.
The World Championships is also one of the last opportunities for riders to earn ranking points towards Paris 2024 Qualification, with results at Glasgow potentially earning quota spots for countries who do not receive quotas through ranking.
BMX Freestyle Park
To find all the information on the BMX Freestyle competition, click here.
Main photo: @collectif_theagency / @FISE