Gold Coaster Saya Sakakibara crashes out of BMX semi-final

Horror scenes for Gold Coaster Saya Sakakibara who was stretchered off the Olympic BMX course, ending her Olympic campaign.

Despite being a favourite to win the women’s BMX event, Saya was eliminated from the competition after colliding with second place Alise Willoughby.

While Alise was able to recover and get herself over the line, Saya remained stationary on the track as the semi-final concluded.


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Camera angles refrained from showing Olympics viewers exactly what was happening until Saya was seen being carried off the course on a stretcher.

It sparked heartbreak and terror for the family, friends and community of the Sakakibara family, after Saya’s brother Kai suffered a horror accident in a BMX crash last year that left him in a coma with severe brain trauma.

He should have been in the men’s BMX event at Tokyo this year, but instead was watching his sister compete without him.

Saya returned to the sidelines for the final race, telling Seven she was extremely confused and disappointed in herself.

“I feel like I’ve let everyone down,” she told Seven. “Especially my brother.”

From his grandmother’s lounge room in Tokyo, her brother Kai told Seven she could never let him down.

“Either way, I’m really proud of her and I can’t wait to see her race again,” he said.