Sport Logan Martin turns backyard investment into BMX freestyle gold

Logan Martin turns backyard investment into BMX freestyle gold

Logan Martin has added AusCycling's cyclist of the year award to his BMX freestyle Olympic gold. Photo: Getty
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Logan Martin hopes his historic Olympic gold medal helps put him on-side with the neighbours back home.

Two years after he built a scaled-down skate park in his backyard, the 27-year-old from the Gold Coast hinterland dominated as BMX freestyle made a riveting Games debut.

Martin, who won his second world title in June, scored 93.30 in his first medal run on Sunday at Ariake Sports Park and that was enough for gold.

A lack of local training facilities had meant Martin either had to build his own facility, which cost about $70,000, or head overseas.

“A few of my close neighbours weren’t too keen on the idea,” he told the Seven Network.

“This obviously paid off and I hope they see it paid off, too.

“It’s a crazy feeling I guess to set out on this goal, invest so much money into this goal and to walk away with the gold medal.

“It’s the cherry on top for me. It just tops my career, all my career achievements.”

None of the other eight competitors could match his array of aerial tricks, with the Australian later revealing Sunday’s dominant first round was a safety run.

Martin had more tricks ready should they be needed, but he already had the gold medal secured when he was the last starter in the second run.

The Australian executed a bold no-hands front flip at the start of his victory run, but then abandoned when his foot slipped.

Martin, from Logan in Queensland, claimed Australian cycling’s first Olympic gold medal since Anna Meares won the women’s sprint at the London 2012 Games.

No Australian had won a gold in Olympic men’s cycling since 2004.

Martin was the only competitor to score more than 90 in Saturday’s two seeding runs, confirming he was the man to beat.

On Sunday it came down to Japan’s Rim Nakamura, who comes from a strong cycling family and is even named after a bike part.

With local fans lining a nearby bridge in their thousands to cheer him on, Nakamura made a strong start to his second run at Ariake Sports Park but faded late for a score of 85.10.

That confirmed Martin, the last man to compete, as the gold medallist.

Daniel Dhers of Venezuela, at 36 the veteran in the men’s competition, won silver with 92.05 on his second run and British rider Declan Brooks scored 90.80 for the bronze.

Australia should have had two medal contenders in the men’s event, but former world champion Brandon Loupos badly injured his knee at the June world championships and needed a reconstruction.

Earlier on Sunday, Great Britain’s Charlotte Worthington stunned the sport with the first 360-degree backflip in women’s competition.

That propelled her past American three-time world champion Hannah Roberts for the gold medal, while Australian Natalya Diehm finished fifth.