Aussie BMX prima Saya Sakakibara escaped superior wounded aft a horrific clang during her Olympic BMX semi-final, but soon aft she emerged from the wreckage she had a federation of hearts breaking for her arsenic she gave an affectional interview.
Destined for a spot successful the medal contention arsenic she led the semi-final, things took a crook for the worst erstwhile Sakakibara tangled with American Alise Willoughby - the woman of Aussie erstwhile BMX satellite champion Sam Willoughby - precocious successful the race, with the duo some crashing retired arsenic a result.
The collision led to Sakakibara being enactment connected a stretcher arsenic fans held their enactment with fears the 21-year-old whitethorn person suffered superior injuries.
Fortunately, Sakakibara did not request to spell to infirmary for attraction and the BMX prima regained her poise for a TV interview.
"Definitely confused, I honestly don't truly cognize what happened," Sakakibara said.
"But I cognize I was riding well... I conscionable came down with Alise (Willoughby) who caught up to maine and we came down together. That's each I tin remember.
"It's conscionable truthful disappointing, I consciousness similar I fto everyone down, particularly my brother."
It was a devastating infinitesimal for each who person travel to cognize the Sakakibara communicative aft Saya's brother, Kai, himself a satellite people BMX rider, endured a fearfulness clang past year.
Kai was expected to beryllium portion of this year's Tokyo Games earlier the clang during a World Cup circular successful Bathurst near him with terrible encephalon trauma and successful a coma for 2 months.
Sakakibara said each she tin bash present is look guardant to Paris 2024.
"To beryllium honest, I truly can't judge it's over. It truly sucks," she said.
"For everyone backmost home, convey you for supporting maine each the way
"I consciousness I did the champion I could today. It hasn't truly clicked that it's over, it conscionable sucks.
"This is the athletics of BMX and I person to instrumentality this arsenic a positive and marque definite I travel backmost stronger for Paris."
Moments earlier Sakakibara's incidental today, reigning BMX racing golden medalist Connor Fields of the United States had to beryllium carried disconnected connected a stretcher aft crashing successful the 3rd qualifying vigor astatine the Tokyo Olympics.
Fields was 4th aft his opening 2 heats and landed hard disconnected a leap heading into the archetypal crook successful the 2nd heat. The 28-year-old from Las Vegas slammed into the crook and laic connected the way arsenic aesculapian unit rushed retired to assistance him.
Fields was attended to for respective minutes earlier being carried away. He qualified for the finals, but volition not beryllium capable to race. He became the archetypal American BMX rider to triumph golden astatine the 2016 Rio Games and was a favourite to triumph it again successful Tokyo.
- with AP
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