Published: 10:01, May 19, 2024
Chinese riders dominate women's BMX freestyle at Olympic Qualifier Series
By Xinhua
China's Sun Sibei competes in the Cycling BMX Freestyle Women's Park Final for the 2024 Olympic Qualifier Series held in Shanghai, May 18, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

SHANGHAI - China swept the podium in the cycling BMX freestyle women's park final of the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai on Saturday, while Veddriq Leonardo of Indonesia refreshed the men's speed climbing Asian record.

With International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach watching from the stands, Chinese cyclists Sun Sibei, Sun Jiaqi and Deng Yawen finished first, second and third respectively in the women's park final in front of a packed venue at the Huangpu Riverside.

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Despite a full podium, each participating delegation is only allowed a maximum of two athletes to participate in the same event in BMX freestyle at the Paris Olympics according to the rules.

China's Sun Jiaqi competes in the Cycling BMX Freestyle Women's Park Final for the 2024 Olympic Qualifier Series held in Shanghai, May 18, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

"Today's result is a collective effort of all the staff. The three of us couldn't get here without each other's help in training," Deng said. "No matter who ended up qualifying for Paris, it will be the honor of the whole team."

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Anthony JeanJean of France won the men's category with a superb first run, followed by Olympic champion Logan Martin of Australia and reigning world champion Darren David Kieran Reilly of Britain.

Cui Chenxi of China in action during the women's street preliminaries of skateboarding at the Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai on May 17, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

China's Zhou Yafei beat Rajiah Sallsabillah of Indonesia to win the women's speed climbing title, the 20-year-old's first world title. World No. 2 Natalia Kalucka of Poland secured the bronze over China's Niu Di.

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On the men's side, Leonardo finished with 4.83 seconds to create a new Asian record in the final over world No.1 Wu Peng of China, who just lowered the Asian record and claimed gold at the 2024 IFSC Climbing World Cup last month. China's Wang Xinshang settled for bronze.

From left bronze medalist China's Deng Yawen, gold medalist China's Sun Sibei and silver medalist China's Sun Jiaqi celebrate after the Cycling BMX Freestyle Women's Park Final for the 2024 Olympic Qualifier Series held in Shanghai, May 18, 2024. (PHOTO / AP) 

Breaking kicked off with pre-selection in the morning and pre-qualifiers in the evening, as China's Qi Xiangyu, Zeng Yingying and Liu Ziyan all advanced to the last 16.

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Tokyo Olympic champion Momiji Nishiya of Japan suffered a shock exit in the skateboarding women's street semifinal, while China's Cui Chenxi and Zeng Wenhui both qualified for the final, scheduled for Sunday.