REACHING GREAT HEIGHTS: Natalya Diehm gets some serious air time in Hiroshima, Japan.
REACHING GREAT HEIGHTS: Natalya Diehm gets some serious air time in Hiroshima, Japan. Contributed GLA230419NAT

BMX woman has learned so much in Freestyle championship

BMX: Tannum Sands' Natalya Diehm narrowly missed out on the final of the world-class 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Hiroshima.

But the setback would only make the 21-year-old a better rider moving forward.

JUMPING TO GREAT HEIGHTS: Tannum Sands' BMX freestyle rider Natalya Diehm back in 2014. INSET: Diehm doing her thing at the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Hiroshima.
JUMPING TO GREAT HEIGHTS: Tannum Sands' BMX freestyle rider Natalya Diehm back in 2014. INSET: Diehm doing her thing at the 2019 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup in Hiroshima. Brenda Strong

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

My goal for coming to Japan was to make the women's finals and that'd be a win for me," Natalya said on her Instagram account.

"Unfortunately I missed out by half a point.

"I did make a few mistakes like the no-footer in my run was supposed to be a no-footer can, but I kicked my seat and I only straight-jumped the transfer without doing a trick."

There were a record number of women riders and the growth of females in the sport was evident when more than 40 riders signed up for Japan.

The standard also has risen and there were only five riders in this competition three years ago.

Natalya said she knew what to do next time when the opportunity comes around.

"It's all a learning curve and next time I'll know to give more especially when I had a few things left in the trick bag," she said.

"Although I didn't reach my goal, I'm super proud of myself of how I rode, how well I remained calm without my nerves or anxiety taking over and doing this trip alone."

Natalya's father Justin said she has always remained focussed and single-minded.

And that was despite a number of ACL surgeries.

"She has only ever rode Freestyle BMX , never raced other bikes and was second in the Queensland Open (female) when she was 15 years old," Justin said.

"She was lining up to go overseas then.

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

It was not just the competition that Natalya enjoyed, but other things that come along with being an elite rider.

"I've had such a great time and met so many new people and friends that just makes it that more exciting for the next one," she said.

"I'm definitely excited to be flying home to see all of my loved ones."



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