Martin dominates BMX freestyle seedings

Australia's Logan Martin in the box seat to claim gold in the BMX freestyle discipline in Tokyo.
Australia's Logan Martin in the box seat to claim gold in the BMX freestyle discipline in Tokyo.

BMX freestyle world champion Logan Martin is well-placed to break Australian cycling's gold medal drought at the Olympics.

The 27-year-old was outstanding in Saturday's seeding rounds as his sport made its Games debut.

He was the only rider in the men's or women's events in the two seeding rounds to score more than 90 points at Ariake Sports Park to confirm his gold medal favouritism.

And the two-time world champion said he has more to deliver in Sunday's gold medal round.

"Today is about two consistent runs, making sure both counted. Today you hold back," he told the Seven Network.

"I didn't do big tricks but kept it clean and consistent. That worked for me.

"Tomorrow I have a few more things I'm going to bring out to pull my best run and try and top the other riders."

Martin scored 91.90 and 90.04 to lead with an average of 90.97, while Japan's Rim Nakamura is second overall on 87.67.

Australian Natalya Diehm, who has endured four knee reconstructions, is fifth out of nine riders in the women's competition.

She scored 77.40 and 79.00 to average 78.20 heading into her medal round.

American Hannah Roberts, the three-time world champion, leads on 87.70 and compatriot Perris Benegas is second on 86.50.

Australian cycling had a disastrous Rio Olympics and it's last gold was Anna Meares in the sprint at the London Games.

Rohan Dennis, who won bronze on Wednesday in the road time trial, and Martin were the two obvious medal hopes at Tokyo.

Given there has been no track competition since early last year, Australia's prospects at the Izu Velodrome are a big unknown.

Australia was aiming for two medals in the men's BMX freestyle, but former world champion Brandon Loupos needed a knee reconstruction after he was injured at last month's world titles.

Regardless of what happens in Tokyo, Martin has more happy times to look forward to once he returns to Australia.

He and wife Kimberley have a son Noah and they are expecting another child in January.

Australian Associated Press