Recap European BMX Freestyle Park Championships

Frenchman Anthony Jeanjean and Swiss rider Nikita Ducarroz both won gold at the European BMX Freestyle Park Championships in Moscow.

The second edition of the European Championships took place at the Music Media Dome in the Russian capital from 12-14 November. Three months after the Olympic premiere in Tokyo, the European Championships are the last highlight of 2021. 40 athletes from 13 countries qualified for the Championships.

Two German women were at the start, besides Kim Lea Müller, Class of 22 athlete Lara Lessmann also competed in Moscow. Lessmann finished 6th at the Olympic Games, with only two other European athletes ahead of her. On the Olympic podium were both Nikita Ducarroz, who secured bronze, and Charlotte Worthington who meanwhile crowned herself the discipline's first Olympic Champion. But the Briton was not at the start in Moscow.

In the qualification Ducarroz landed safely in the final with 82.49 points and a solid lead of ten points over the next placed. Lessmann was able to offer 71.33 points in the preliminary round and was thus in second place for the time being, followed by Spain's Teresa Fernandez-Miranda Azcogada (66.33 points). In the final the three athletes added a lot of skills and thus points, but this did not change the order after the qualification. With that the Swiss won gold with an incredible score of 93 points. Lessmann repeated her silver medal from 2019 with 84.33 points. Bronze went to the Spaniard with 81 points. The second German Müller dropped from 4th place in the qualification to 5th place despite a clear increase in points.

The men's event was a close neck-and-neck race. The qualification ended with three 84-point scores at the top: 84.83 points for Croatian Marin Ranteš, 84.66 points for Russian Irek Rizaev and 84.33 points for Frenchman Anthony Jeanjean.

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Unlike in the women's event, the athlete line-up of the qualification was completely shuffled in the final. Ranteš was not able to repeat his success from the qualification round and ended his competition as only eleventh out of twelve finalists. Defending champion Jeanjean put in an amazing performance and achieved a score of 93 points. He thus moved ahead of Rizaev to take gold, as he did in 2019, after having to settle for 7th place in Tokyo. Still sixth in Japan and thus ahead of Jeanjean, the Russian remained in second place as he had done in the qualification. In the end, Rizaev scored 88.33 points. His fellow countryman Konstantin Andreev improved from 6th place in the preliminary round into the medal ranks and took bronze with 88.16 points.

Of the three German men, Michael Meisel and Jonas Lindermair were eliminated after the preliminary round. Timo Schulze was happy about his improvement from 8th to 6th place in the final. Declan Brooks (GBR), the best European at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, did not compete.

The championships organised by the UEC are the last continental showdown of the BMX Freestyle Park athletes before the European Championships Munich 2022, where the competitions in the park will be held from 11-13 August 2022.

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