ARGENTINA WINS ITS FIRST PAN AMERICAN GOLD AND THE U.S. RETAINS ITS TITLE IN BMX FREESTYLE
The enthusiasm of the fans motivated the riders to deliver their best routines in order to accumulate a good Olympic ranking on the road to Paris 2024.
With wheels in the air, José “Maligno” Torres secured his first Pan American gold for Argentina in BMX Freestyle Park, accumulating 86.00 points. Meanwhile, in the women’s category, USA Hannah Roberts successfully defended her gold title from Lima 2019. Thanks to their outstanding routines, both riders earned points for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ranking.
The Argentine rider performed magic with incredible transitions on the ramps of the National Stadium. Despite the lingering effects of his injuries, he managed to outscore the local champion, José Manuel Cedano, by just 0.33 points. The bronze medal went to 21-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Batista with 83.67 points.
“It’s the first time we have a gold medal in the Games. I’m really, really happy. I think the sacrifice and strength I had to put into it, I dedicate it to my entire family,” said Torres, who had finished second in Lima 2019. Chilean Cedano won silver thanks to his double front flip.
“It felt amazing to compete with so many people I know and so many Chileans cheering for me. I really think their support was what allowed me to finish the last pass that way and win the silver medal,” said Cedano.
HANNAH ROBERTS DEFENDS HER TITLE
Amid tailwhips and barspins, 22-year-old USA Hannah Roberts successfully defended her Pan American title in BMX Freestyle from Lima 2019 in these Pan American Games. The rider didn’t need a second run to secure her gold medal.
In a closely contested competition, Roberts scored 81.67 points and shared the podium with Chilean Macarena Pérez, who won the silver medal with 72.33 points. The bronze went to Venezuelan Katherine Díaz with 69.00 points.
“Winning here in Chile was incredible, the crowd was great, and I’m super excited to be here representing the United States in front of all these amazing fans,” said an excited Roberts, delighted to share such a dream podium with Macarena Pérez and Katherine Díaz.
Just like in Lima 2019, where BMX Freestyle made its debut, Chilean rider Macarena Perez impressed with some incredible high backflips. She said that Hannah Roberts is a great opponent and very strong, making it very difficult to win gold. Nevertheless, the Chilean rider expressed her happiness with her medal and the great legacy at Santiago 2023 bike park infrastructure.
“We can dream of something bigger and have world-class training ramps,” said Macarena Perez.
With the bronze, 34-year-old Venezuelan Katherine Díaz, who performed tight backflips and whips during her heats, commented on the excellent level of the competition and her medal.
“I’m happy; I did things the way I wanted to do them. I’m very happy, as it has been a fairly long year with many physical and mental challenges to overcome,” said Diaz.
By Fernanda Castillo A.