The Australian Olympic Committee has named six riders to compete for the Australian Olympic Team in BMX and Mountain Bike, with NSWIS scholarship athlete Saya Sakakibara securing her ride to Tokyo.
Boasting a number of world cup and world championship medals through her career, the Japanese-born Australian will be one to watch amongst a team full of world-class talent.
Sakakibara said making a Games in the country she was born in was a dream come true.
“To be honest, it feels so surreal,” Sakakibara said. “It’s been a dream since I was a little girl to go to the Olympics – to actually reach that goal is amazing.
“The story doesn’t end here though; I’ve made my first Olympic team selection, but the journey starts here.
“My family have been true supporters for me. And they really believe that I could be in this position and that they really believe that I would be going to the Olympics this year. They’re just really thrilled to know and hear that it’s actually official, and it’s all happening.
“My biggest goal for the Games is to be at the start gate, and know that I’ve done absolutely everything that I can to get to where I am. So when I’m at that gate, all I have to do is just trust everything that I’ve done, and enjoy it.”
Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman welcomed the riders to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo.
“Congratulations to all the riders selected today,” Mr Chesterman said. “Today is a fantastic accomplishment not just for the riders but for Australian Cycling, their coaches, families, friends and supporters who have helped them achieve today’s selection.
“Dan, as a four-time Olympian, and Rebecca and Lauren, both off to their third Games, will all earn a special place in Australian Olympic history in Tokyo and their selection is a reflection of their incredible commitment, perseverance and talent over such a long period of time.
“With Mountain Bike and BMX riders joining their track and road teammates, the cycling team for Tokyo will represent Australia with great distinction.”