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Olympics

U.S. duo Hannah Roberts, Perris Benegas top seeds for Olympic BMX freestyle final

Reigning world champion Roberts is top favorite for gold in Sunday's final after seeding first Saturday.

U.S duo Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas will be the top seeds for the Olympic BMX freestyle final after topping the tables in Saturday’s two-run seeding event.

2018 world champion Justin Dowell was seeded eighth with his American teammate Nick Bruce ninth in the men’s race. Bruce couldn’t finish either of his runs due to a shoulder injury that he sustained in practice earlier this week.

The hotly-tipped 2021 world champion Logan Martin (Australia) will go into Sunday’s men’s final as top seed.

Roberts, 19, is leading favorite for gold Sunday after winning three of the past four world championship competitions, including this year’s event in Montpellier. Her top seed position means she will be last to go Sunday.

Also read: What you need to know about Hannah Roberts and BMX freestyle events

“It feels pretty good to be top seed, I just wanted to feel my runs today and put myself in a position that I can watch all the other runs and see what everyone else is doing tomorrow,” Roberts said of her performance Saturday.

“I put down two solid runs, they got me first and I’m excited to see what everybody throws down tomorrow – it’s going to be a good show.”

It will be all-eyes on world champion and top seed Roberts for a gold medal Sunday. But for now, the Indianan ace is not focussing on the results, just the experience.

“I don’t care what kind of medal or what place I’ll get, I am just honored to be here representing Team USA and I’m gonna thrown down what I can, and whatever I get I’m having so much fun out here, it doesn’t matter,” she said.

The BMX freestyle is making its Olympic debut this year.

Roberts rose to becoming one of the top riders in the world through a prolific four-year stretch where she harvested three world titles, gold at the Pan American Games, and a hatful of World Cup wins.

Roberts’ teammate Benegas claimed the world title in 2018 – meaning U.S. riders have a sweep of the last four world championships in the freestyle event.