The AOC has named six riders to compete for the Australian Olympic Team in Tokyo in BMX and Mountain Bike, loaded with Australian Olympic firsts.
UPDATE 22 June: Australian Olympic Cycling Team Finalised with BMX Racing Selection
BMX rider Anthony Dean was today selected to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
The 30-year-old South Australian returns for his second Olympics, after his Rio Olympic debut where he finished eighth.
"I cannot wait!" Dean said. "I am so excited for the opportunity."
"In 2016 I won every lap in the semi-finals but fell short in final with a DNF. I now have the opportunity to get my redemption from Rio."
Dean's selection finalised the Australian Olympic Cycling Team for Tokyo, featuring 29 athletes across BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, Mountain Bike, Track and Road disciplines.
16 June 2021
Daniel McConnell becomes the first Australian to make four Olympic Teams in Mountain Bike, Rebecca McConnell the first Australian women to make three Games in Mountain Bike, Lauren Reynolds the first Australian BMX rider to make three Olympics, while Logan Martin and Natalya Diehm will make history as Australia's first Olympic BMX Freestylers when the discipline makes its Games debut in Tokyo.
Olympic debutant Japanese-born Australian rider Saya Sakakibara completes the women's BMX racing team for Tokyo.
Boasting the current BMX Freestyle World Champion Logan Martin, World Cup and World Championship medallists in Saya Sakakibara and Rebecca McConnell, the team is full of world class talent.
Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman welcomed the riders to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
"Congratulations to all the riders selected today," Mr Chesterman said. "Today is a fantastic accomplishment not just for the riders but for Australian Cycling, their coaches, families, friends and supporters who have helped them achieve today's selection.
"Dan, as a four-time Olympian, and Rebecca and Lauren, both off to their third Games, will all earn a special place in Australian Olympic history in Tokyo and their selection is a reflection of their incredible commitment, perseverance and talent over such a long period of time.
"BMX Freestyle makes its debut giving Logan and Natalya the opportunity to showcase their incredible courage and skill on the world's biggest sporting stage and for Australians to see this exciting new sport.
"With Mountain Bike and BMX riders joining their track and road teammates, the cycling team for Tokyo will represent Australia with great distinction."
Sakakibara said making a Games in the country she was born in was a dream come true.
"To be honest, it feels so surreal," Sakakibara said. "It's been a dream since I was a little girl to go to the Olympics - to actually reach that goal is amazing.
"The story doesn't end here though - I've made my first Olympic team selection, but the journey starts here.
"My family have been true supporters for me. And they really believe that I could be in this position and that they really believe that I would be going to the Olympics this year. They're just really thrilled to know and hear that it's actually official, and it's all happening.
"My biggest goal for the Games is to be at the start gate, and know that I've done absolutely everything that I can to get to where I am. So when I'm at that gate, all I have to do is just trust everything that I've done, and enjoy it."
Logan Martin celebrated his official selection from hotel quarantine after returning from claiming the World Championship title in Montpellier.
"I'm extremely stoked to not only be selected on the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympic Games, but also to be the first Australian ever to be going to the Olympics for Freestyle BMX, that's massive!" Martin said. "I set this goal four years ago, with 100% confidence I would make it and it's finally coming to fruition."
"Becoming the World Champion for the second time is really something special. To do it just a month out from the Olympics was perfect for my selection onto the team. I knew this Worlds was a make or break event but I didn't let that pressure get to me, I just wanted to show everyone the work I had been putting in throughout the past year and a half.
"My goal is to always do MY best. I know my best will be a big contender for a gold medal so I always try to focus on that leading into events and it will be the same heading into Tokyo."
Australian Cycling Performance Director Simon Jones welcomed today's announcement.
"I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all riders on their selection, and all riders who have been part of the process through to selection," Jones said. "I'm proud of the riders who will be representing Australia in Tokyo, and we are very excited to see how everyone in the team meets the challenge of what's likely to be a unique Games experience."
"The selection process never gets easier and that's because we have a strong and competitive team. Due to COVID, these athletes have been working for this selection for the past five years and there are a limited number of places on the team – we know Olympic selection means everything."
Today's Selected athletes join 22 track and road riders bound for Tokyo, and brings the total number of selected athletes to 232 of an expected 450-480 Australian Olympic Team size for Tokyo.
The men's BMX Racing discipline is subject to an appeal by a non-nominated athlete, with selection to be announced when the process is finalised.
- The Mountain Bike competition will run from 26-27 July at Izu MTB Course
- BMX Racing will run from 29-30 July at Ariake Urban Sports Park
- BMX Freestyle will run from 31 July – 1 August
Find out more about Cycling at the Olympics in the infographic below.
About Cycling at the Olympics