One of the newer events to have entered the Olympics, the BMX event was introduced in Beijing in 2008. It is a thrilling viewing spectacle with 8 riders competing over a course that mixes intense racing, big jumps and a fair number of crashes. 48 competitors across 23 countries will face a seeding run first up to determine how they face up in the quarter finals. The quarters are run across 5 separate runs for the men where their average finishing position determines who progresses to the semi finals. The same structure is applied in the semis, however there are only 3 runs to complete. The women’s event sees competitors progress to the semis from the seeding run where they complete 3 runs and the top 8 progress through to the final.
The men’s event has only known one champion, Maris Strombergs, and the Latvian will be looking for a hat trick of Gold Medals in Rio.
Mariana Pajon of Colombia is the defending Olympic champion in the women’s event and will be looking to add another gold to her impressive collection having already won the World Championships this year in her home country.
Australia has strong medal hopes in both events with Sam Willoughby looking to improve from his silver medal 4 years ago and Caroline Buchanan in strong form having finished as runner up in the recent World Championships.
Niek Kimmann $4.50
One of the youngest riders in the race, at just 20yrs of age the Dutchman won the 2015 World Championship & is currently number 3 in the world, having recently been dethroned by Long & Phillips. This Olympics may come a little too soon for him, given the pressure on his shoulders but he will start as favourite for the Gold.
Joris Daudet $5.50
The World Champion is currently ranked 5 in the world and comes into this race on the back of a very good 2016. The 25 year old has won numerous races this year, topped off with his big win in the World Championships where he beat all of his main Olympic rivals. He will be in the mix.
Sam Willoughby $10
The Australian finished as runner up in London 2012 and has spent the past 4 years trying to learn from that experience. He returns as a much stronger athlete and should be feared by the opposition. Based in San Diego, he can call upon a replica of the Rio course to train on, built by the US Olympic Committee. He has put over 3kg of muscle on since London and is riding a much higher gear. He is a big chance at good odds.
Nicholas Long $11
The Wolf cannot believe the price on offer for the number 1 ranked rider in the world. Along with Willoughby, Long has the advantage of the replica course to train on and also performed well in the World Championships, finishing with a bronze. He has consistently finished in the top ten all season and could challenge for a medal here.
Mariana Pajon $3
The reigning Olympic & World Champion is the dominant force in women’s BMX and goes into this race as the favourite for the Gold medal. The 24 year old, world number 1, is commonly known as the ‘Queen of BMX’ due to her achievements and it is hard to look past her for the gold medal here.
Caroline Buchanan $4
The Australian finished with a silver medal in the World Champs and actually won the time trial event. In London 4 years ago she was the fastest qualifier, only to miss the start in the final & finish fifth. She’ll has grown up a lot since London and will be doing everything see can to challenge for a medal.
Alise Post $6
The American finished with a bronze in the World Champs and crashed out of the London 2012 event at the Semi Final stage when she could’ve challenged for a medal. Again, she has the advantage of training on the replica course in San Diego, along with her fiancée, Sam Willoughby. She is ranked 3 in the world and should be in the mix for a medal.
Brooke Crain $21
The Wolf is tipping another American to do well due to the massive advantage of having the replica course at their disposal. Crain is ranked 5 in the world and has has a consistent season with plenty of podium finishes. She has a chance of a medal at big odds.
Don’t forget to check out our full coverage of the Olympic Games.