UP AND COMING: BMX freestyle rider Natalya Diehm has just returned from a successful run at the Queensland titles on the Gold Coast. This was back in 2014.
UP AND COMING: BMX freestyle rider Natalya Diehm has just returned from a successful run at the Queensland titles on the Gold Coast. This was back in 2014. Brenda Strong

BMX ace sets sights for the 2020 Olympics as sport grows

BMX: Tammun Sands' Natayla Diehm, 21, is currently in Hiroshima, Japan in her quest to make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She is competing in the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Hiroshima in Japan which starts tomorrow through to Easter Sunday.

Part of the qualification to make the World Championship in China in November is to make Sunday's finals.

The Japan event starts off with 38 riders and then, via a process of elimination, riders are reduced to 24 and then the final with 12 riders.

Natalya Diehm is reaching for the sky.
Natalya Diehm is reaching for the sky. Brenda Strong

Natalya's father Justin said she has remained focussed.

"She is pretty determined and especially since BMX Freestyle has been accepted in the Olympics," he said.

"The sport now has a pathway and has credibility and substance to it which is fantastic."

The women's division has grown in rapid fashion.

Natalya Diehm
Natalya Diehm Brenda Strong

The women's class consisted of a handful of riders just three years ago.

Fast forward to 2019 and over 40 female athletes have signed up for Japan and the rise of rider numbers has increased the standard of female competition.

"She has only ever rode Freestyle BMX , never raced, and was second in the Queensland Open (Female) when she was 15 years old, she was lining up to go overseas then," Justin said.

Natalya has overcome a series of ACL surgeries, but that determination has shone through.

"Natalya is proud of where she comes from and she is very humble and is one of those kids who has stuck with it," Justin said.



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