United Kingdom

Hundreds of fans watch BMX freestyle final from a BRIDGE

The head of Tokyo Olympics has told of her sadness that hundreds of sports fans were forced to watch the BMX final from a bridge.

Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo2020 President, said she regretted that the Japanese public were not allowed to attend the popular event held on Sunday but urged them to try to understand the reasons why.

Hundreds of supporters gathered as close as they could to the Ariake Sports Park stadium to cheer on Japanese BMX free-style stars Rim Nakamura and Minato Oike.

But Covid-19 restrictions barred them from taking up the empty seats in the stands – forcing them to seek the only vantage point possible, the Ariake pedestrian bridge, overlooking the stadium.

Hundreds of supporters gathered as close as they could to the Ariake Sports Park stadium to cheer on Japanese BMX free-style stars Rim Nakamura and Minato Oike

Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo2020 President, said she regretted that the Japanese public were not allowed to attend the popular event held on Sunday but urged them to try to understand the reasons why (Pictured: Fans gather on a bridge outside a near-empty stadium)

Tokyo2020 President Seiko Hashimoto was among the few Japanese citizens allowed inside the stadium to cheer on the young riders.

The former Olympic track cyclist and bronze medal speed skater told MailOnline: ‘It is sad to see so many people watching from the bridge because they are not allowed to come into the stadium.

‘It is very sad but I hope people can understand that we are in a very difficult position.

‘We must maintain public safety. That is why they cannot come into the stadium.’

Meanwhile fans were urging their fellow countrymen to join them on the bridge to cheer on the riders.

One tweeted: ‘People are rushing to the pedestrian bridge where you can see the BMX final.

Another added: ‘There are a lot of people outside the venue, trying to feel the atmosphere even for a little while.’

Despite earlier protests against hosting the Olympics Tokyo2020 has exploded in popularity as the country’s athletes flourish in numerous events.

Covid-19 restrictions barred them from taking up the empty seats in the stands – forcing them to seek the only vantage point possible, the Ariake pedestrian bridge, overlooking the stadium

Yesterday afternoon Japan were third in the medals table with 17 gold medals, five silver and eight bronze.

Team GB's Charlotte Worthington won gold for Great Britain in the first Olympic women's BMX freestyle competition in Tokyo before Declan Brooks followed up with bronze in the men's event moments later.

The double success meant Britain have taken a medal in all four BMX events at these Games after the racing gold and silver for Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte.

Worthington made history in more ways than one as the 25-year-old Mancunian nailed the first 360 backflip to be performed in women's competition in a huge second run - having crashed attempting the move in her first.

Declan Brooks won the bronze medal in the men's BMX freestyle, pulling off two big front flips in his second run to improve on an initial score of 89.40. 

Logan Martin, from Australia, took gold and was the class of the field, able to wave off his second run having posted a 93.30 first time around, while the veteran Daniel Dhers, 36, from Venezuela, pipped Brooks to silver with a score of 92.05.  

Team GB enjoyed a double success in BMX freestyle, with Charlotte Worthington winning gold for the women and Declan Brooks achieving bronze in the men's event. It meant Britain have taken a medal in all four BMX events at these Games after the racing gold and silver for Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte

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