‘The plan was to get rid of some nerves – there was no need to show your hand’ – Portsmouth’s Declan Brooks makes his Olympic debut in BMX freestyle

Portsmouth’s Declan Brooks managed to get ‘rid of some nerves’ as BMX freestyle biking made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

Saturday, 31st July 2021, 8:33 am
Portsmouth's Declan Brooks makes a jump in the men's BMX Freestyle seeding in Tokyo today. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis.

But views will have to wait one more day before truly getting an idea of what the best in the world are capable of doing, writes PAUL EDDISON.

Competition began with the seeding round but, while some used it to show what they could do, others played it much safer.

In fact American Nick Bruce, still recovering from injury, did not try a single trick and scored just 6.60, in a round where overwhelming favourite Logan Martin of Australia scored 91.90.

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Declan Brooks competes in the cycling BMX freestyle men's park seeding event at the Ariake Urban Sports Park. Picture: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images.

For Brooks, it was a useful run-out but there was no need to show his hand ahead of Sunday’s final.

He explained: ‘The game plan today was to go out there, get rid of some nerves.

‘It was our first time, I wasn’t looking to qualify high.

‘Some people went out there and possibly did too much, but the game plan was to go out there, get some stuff done, but it’s a whole new run for tomorrow.

Declan Brooks performs a blackflip during the Men's BMX Freestyle seeding event on day eight of the Tokyo Olympics at Ariake Urban Sports Park. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

‘A lot more to come tomorrow. Everyone got through today so there was no need to show your hand but yeah, now I’m looking forward to it.’

Britain have already enjoyed a brilliant Games in BMX with gold and silver medals for Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte respectively in the BMX racing.

Now it is the turn of the spectacular freestyle, where riders are scored on their tricks by judges, to enter the equation.

The 25-year-old Brooks said: ‘It’s amazing. It’s special to be here amongst all these amazing athletes, but on the course it kind of feels normal to a normal World Cup.

‘We have the same riders, the same judges, so that aspect feels normal, but when you come out here it’s completely different.’

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