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Martin has shock BMX setback as Diehm set for Olympics

Logan Martin has had a setback to his BMX freestyle Olympic gold medal defence, failing to automatically secure a Games berth at the last qualifying event.

As Martin's Paris preparations took a hit in Budapest, fellow Tokyo Olympian Natalya Diehm automatically qualified for her second Games by finishing fifth in the women's event.

While Martin is expected to compete in Paris through Australia's continental quota spot, he did not even reach the final of the second and final qualifier event.

Martin, 30, crashed in his two qualifying runs attempting the same trick, a 270-whip, as in-form French rider Anthony Jeanjean won the Budapest round.

Martin finished runner-up to Jeanjean at the first qualifier last month in Shanghai.

According to AusCycling, Diehm is the first Australian cyclist to automatically qualify for the Paris Games, with the teams across BMX racing, BMX freestyle, track, road and mountain bike still to be named.

It would be a colossal shock if Martin does not join her in the Australian BMX freestyle team for Paris.


"I didn't have the best lead into to Budapest. I had a bit of an injury that I was nursing. I (was) looking ahead to Paris more so than being ready for this one - so I didn't have a very good lead in," Martin told AusCycling.

"But by the time I got here, I was feeling okay, enough for what I thought I would be able to pull some decent runs, but I wasn't able to get out of semi-finals unfortunately.

"It felt good in practice, but I came unstuck on that 270-whip both times. It just wasn't popping back enough and I was missing the transition. It's tough. It sucks."

Diehm was the only Australian to reach the Budapest finals, with Alec Danelutti, Jaie Toohey and Sarah Nicki also eliminated in qualifying.

Diehm, 26, finished sixth overall after her 10th placing in Shanghai and the top six over the two events secured Paris berths.

She has had four operations since finishing fifth at the Tokyo Games.

"I had a great first run, a little bit sketchy, but sitting in second position all the way until the last two or three riders I'm pretty sure," she said.

"I got into my second run, and unfortunately, I came off on something that I do every day, which I'm a little bit disappointed in. I really thought I had my first podium ever, the first Australia women's podium ever (in BMX freestyle).

"So, it's a bittersweet moment. I made the top six. I'm off to Paris, but I didn't get that podium."

The Australian BMX freestyle team for Paris will be announced on July 5.