Australia’s Tokyo Olympic hopeful Saya Sakakibara has finished seventh in the ninth round of the 2019 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Santiago Del Estero, Argentina.
Sitting fourth into the second berm during the final, Sakakibara made a move to push into third when the rider in front of her hit the deck, bringing her down in the process.
While she missed out on finding the podium, the 20-year old from Helensburgh, NSW is very familiar with the track in South America after she won gold in the final round of last year’s world cup series at the same venue.
“I think I had a good gate, but I was behind down the hill and there was a lot going on in the second straight,” Sakakibara said.
“I really wanted to make that pass on the inside but Simone (Christensen) in front of me crashed out and I had nowhere to go.
“I really didn’t want to crash because I was riding really well all day and I was consistent. So hopefully I’ll be able to get on the podium tomorrow.”
The event was won by reigning world cup champion Laura Smulders (Netherlands), who picked up her eighteenth world cup win, with Russia’s Natalia Afremova in second and the USA’s Felicia Stancil in third.
Also representing Australia in the women’s category was WA’s Rio Olympian Lauren Reynolds, who was eliminated in the semi-finals.
The Aussie men’s ledger will look to improve on their performance in round ten tomorrow. Saya’s older brother Kai was the best of the bunch with some impressive performances leading him into the semi’s but, like Reynolds, he couldn’t progress.
Victoria’s Josh McLean did well to qualify for the 1/8 finals, even notching a second place In the 1/16’s, yet he couldn’t finish in the top four ending his campaign there.
Rio Olympic finalist Anthony Dean didn’t have a great result, finishing his day in the 1/16 finals.
The men’s podium went to local hero Gonzalo Molina, with Ecuador’s Alfredo Campo in second and Frenchman Romain Mahieu in third.
All eyes now turn to the final round of the world cup series, which commences tomorrow morning (Sunday, September 30) at 2am AEST.
Saya Sakakibara: SEVENTH
Kai Sakakibara: 9th, 1/2 finals
Lauren Reynolds: 10th, 1/2 finals
Joshua McLean: 28th, 1/8 finals
Anthony Dean: 48th, 1/16 finals
Adam Carey: 89th, Last Chance