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BMX rider eyes international level after Qld titles success

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

RETURNING from the Queensland freestyle BMX titles with first and second placings, Natalya Diehm has her eyes set on competing at an international level.

The 16-year-old won her age division at the state titles on the Gold Coast, and also came second in the women's open competition, losing by half a point to arguably the best female rider in Australia, Peta Shepherd.

Diehm said just competing with the person she considered an idol was a highlight.

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

The talented rider first started BMX freestyle eight years ago and was ranked fourth in the country at just 11 years old after competing in the BMX Games in Melbourne in 2009.

She hopes to travel to Asia later this year to compete in the FISE World Series, a competition that draws people from all over the world.

Her family is saving up for the trip, which they are hoping to make in September.

The Boyne Island teenager devotes a lot of time perfecting her craft, and documents her progress through Instagram @_natalyadiehm.

"Pretty much every day I come down to this skate park after school and on the weekends," she said.

"Dad will take me to different skate parks around the region and to the Gold Coast and Hervey Bay to practise.

"I think my best trick would be a flair. It's like a backflip 180 back into the ramp."

Perfecting difficult tricks has meant a lot of injuries, but her father Justin Diehm said Natalya had the passion to keep going.

"It's not every day that you see your girl riding her bike to the calibre that she can ride it to," he said.

"She's had her fair share of injuries - she's broken her arm a couple of times, busted her foot a couple of times - but to take the bike away from her would be like trying to remove her left leg. It's just not going to happen."

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

Topics:  bmx boyne island gladstone sport