PORTCHESTER-based Declan Brooks was confirmed an Olympic medallist in the early hours of this morning (August 1), with the cyclist winning bronze in the BMX Freestyle final to seal a 31st medal of the competition for Team GB so far and is quickly becoming a household name after his debut success in Tokyo. He also became the fourth medallist for Great Britain as they dominate this sporting section, which is making its own debut on the Olympic schedule after Freestyle was added in 2019.
Seeding seventh in the preliminary round held Saturday morning with an average score of 76.75 from two runs of the specifically built Freestyle Cycling Park, Brooks knew an improvement was needed as he aimed for gold in the medal final held at approximately 3.30am this morning (11.30am time – BST+8). Scoring was also slightly different with the results decided by the best run instead of an average of the two runs allocated.
His first run in the final saw Brooks with a score of 89.90 from the judges, but better was to come from the Portchester athlete. The 25 year old’s quickly gained confidence and nailed two statement front-flip trips in his second and final run, giving a score of 90.80 that originally secured him a silver medal position with just three riders left .
However he was pipped to second place by Venezuelan athlete Daniel Dhers, who scored 92.05 on his second run and relegated Brooks to third overall come the final standings. But it was still a magnificent achievement to win bronze for the young local athlete, who struggled with training routines as lockdown meant all freestyle parks closed for long periods in the build up to the competitions.
The bronze medal came less than a hour after Charlotte Worthington won gold in the women’s side of the BMX Freestyle final, recovering from a fall in her first run to score 97.50 on her second to seal first. This included an amazing 360 trick, the first in international competition, as she beat Hannah Roberts from America who came second.
Brooks was quick to congratulate Worthington on her success in an interview with BBC Sport after collecting his bronze medal from the podium at 4.10am this morning. Visually emotional after his brilliant success, the athlete stated: “I’ve just cried for the last couple of minutes.
“It’s an unbelievable journey I’ve had on the way here. I am just so stoked. I don’t think it will sink in for a while. For Charlotte to do her things today and put a score and tricks up there that we had never seen before, it was even harder focusing. I knew the run I wanted to pull, I still missed a few bits out but, to be honest, I think that is all I had.
The video of Declan Brooks winning Bronze can be seen on BBC, with highlights available on the link . The athlete will now head back to Britain following his successful debut due to Covid-19 regulations, which state that a 48 hour exit from Japan should occur after any elimination or conclusion of sporting participation.