After an exciting women's final, it was the men's turn for the first ever BMX freestyle final in a star-packed field with multiple riders holding some form of world title in the past.
In the end, Logan Martin's first run stood after a strong push from his competitors in their second runs. The Australian took home the sport’s first gold medal with a score of 93.30.
Americans Justin Dowell and Nick Bruce dropped into the park first. Bruce didn't really ride in the seeding runs due to a hurt shoulder. He looked weak in his run and was unable to ride to his full ability. He lacked the upper body strength required to perform his tricks. Knowing he was done, he launched his bike into the air in dramatic fashion. He ended with a smile, but wouldn't take a second ride.
Teammate Dowell was next, he dropped in with a big transfer and was getting huge air. He put together effortless combinations and seemed to flawlessly spin in every direction. But then with 30 seconds remaining, he lost his rhythm and didn't land on his feet while trying a maneuver. Unfortunately, Dowell crashed in his second run as well, settling for an 8th place finish overall.
Great Britain's Declan Brooks landed a double backflip in his first run. The rest of his run featured clean lines and huge air. The judges rewarded the excitement and originality of his run with an 89.40. He'd improve by over a point in his second run, which clinched the bronze for the Brits.
Daniel Dhers didn’t let his age slow him down. The 36-year-old's first run started with a triple tail whip and gap transfer. His consistent and trick-filled run was rewarded with a 90.10. However, he’d eventually be knocked from the podium. In his second run, he upped his game, going for insane combination flares and one-handed tricks in a jammed-pack run. The judges acknowledged the impressive performance with a 92.05, which was strong enough for the silver medal. A special moment for the rider who started competing in 2005, when freestyle was a long way from being an Olympic sport.
Martin, who was favored to win the event, started his first run with a bang. He hit effortless tricks with huge air. His run featured back-to-back triple tail whips in both directions. The judges liked what they saw, giving the Australian a 93.30. Martin crashed in his second run, but his first score stood the test of time and he clinched the first gold medal in the men’s freestyle event.