BMX riders add gold and bronze to Dutch medal haul
Dutch BMX rider Niek Kimmann has won gold at the Tokyo Olympics despite having damaged knee cap.
Kimman led from the start of the race and crossed the finishing line ahead of Britain’s Kye White and Colombian Carlos Ramírez.
‘I was willing to compromise this whole season for this goal, and the last weeks I felt the best I’ve ever been,’ Kimman told Olympics.com. ‘I felt the pressure, but I was pretty confident. Then I [crashed into a course official in training] on Monday and I thought my dream was over.
‘But like after a lot of ice, painkillers, help from the doctor… I realised the dream was still alive and I knew it was going to be really tough. I think I was mentally ready to suffer and cross the line first. It’s ridiculous.’
Kimman, who was seventh in the event at the Rio Olympics, is the first Dutch BMX Racing champion. The sport has been included in the Olympics since 2008.
In the women’s event, Merel Smulders was a surprise bronze medalist and followed in the footsteps of sister Laura who won bronze in the same event in London in 2012. Britain’s Bethany Shriever won the gold and defending champion Mariana Pajón from Colombia the silver.
In sailing Marit Bouwmeester is now back in medal contention in the Laser-Radial class after winning her ninth race. Bouwmeester, the defending champion, had two bad races in succession and appeared to be out of the running. With just the medal race to go, she is seven points behind the leader Anne-Marie Rindom.
Elsewhere on Friday, the heats take place for the women’s 50 metres freestyle swimming event, in which Ramoni Kromowidjojo is a medal possible.
The Dutch women’s football team meet the USA in the quarter finals, the Dutch men’s hockey team take on Germany in a group match and gold medal hope Sifnan Hassan is in action in the heats of the 5,000 metres.
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