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How to qualify for BMX racing at Paris 2024. The Olympics qualification system explained

Colombia's Mariana Pajon and home favourite Sylvain Andre are two of the 48 riders who will battle for an Olympic quota in the explosive sport of BMX racing. Find out everything you need to know about the pathway to qualification below. 

6 min By Marta Martín
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BMX Racing, a sport that combines skill, bravery and immense speed, made its Olympic debut at Beijing 2008. 

At the Olympic Games Paris 2024, 48 athletes (24 men and 24 women) will compete for the podium.

France, as host country, will receive one quota place per gender, with one more per gender reserved for the Universality places. It leaves 44 more quotas that need to be earned on the road to Paris 2024. 

Discover everything you need to know about the qualification system for BMX racing for the next Olympic Games.

How many BMX Racing riders will compete at Paris 2024?

An even number of male and female athletes will compete at Paris 2024, with 24 riders per gender. 

As mentioned above, host country France will receive one quota per gender, with a further place per gender reserved for the Universality place. 

Each NOC is eligible to win a maximum of three quotas per gender. And as is the case with other cycling disciplines, any athlete who is entered in another cycling discipline has the right to be entered in BMX racing providing the NOC has obtained a quota place in the said event, that the limits of participation per NOC and per event are not exceeded, and that the athlete eligibility requirements are met.

Get to know the eligibility requirements here.

READ MORE: Track cycling qualification system explained

What is the BMX Racing qualification pathway to Paris 2024?

In BMX Racing, the Olympic quotas are allocated to NOCs and there are four routes available to secure them: the Olympic ranking, the Continental Championships 2023 (except for Europe and Oceania), the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Championship.

UCI BMX Racing Olympic Qualification Ranking as of 4th June 2024 - 34 quotas (17 per gender)

Quotas are allocated as follows:

  • 1 and 2 ranked NOCs: 3 athletes qualified per NOC per gender
  • 3-5 ranked NOCs: 2 athletes qualified per NOC per gender
  • 6-10 ranked NOCs: 1 athlete qualified per NOC per gender

The Olympic ranking is calculated by summing the UCI points of the three highest-ranked athletes (Elite and U23 categories) from each NOC. The riders can gain points from 1 August 2022 to 2 June 2024. Here are the competitions in which they can obtain points for their NOCs:

  • UCI BMX Racing World Championships in 2023 and 2024.
  • UCI BMX Racing World Cup: best 14 results within the qualification period.
  • Continental BMX Racing Championships: 1 result in the qualification period. In case there has been more than one Continental Championship held in the region, only the result of the closest in time to the end of the qualification period is used for that continent.
  • International Competition (HC): best 3 results within the qualification period.
  • International Competition (C1): best 7 results within the qualification period.
  • National Championships: 1 result, CN in 2023.

Discover here how the points will be calculated.

In case NOCs are tied, their positions will be determined by the UCI BMX Racing Individual Rankings of their riders on 4 June 2024 in the following order:

  • The highest placed athlete in the Elite individual ranking
  • The highest placed athlete in the Under23 individual ranking
  • The highest placed athlete in the Junior individual ranking

There is another factor to take into account for Europe and Oceania: the minimum allocation per continent. In the case that any of these continents do not have at least one NOC represented, the last available quota place(s) through the Olympic Ranking will be allocated to the highest-ranked NOC of that continent. Any such allocation will result in a corresponding reduction of places in the reverse order of the Olympic ranking - always providing that such a reduction would not result in the continent of the NOC concerned losing its only quota.

2023 BMX Racing Continental Championships (except for Europe and Oceania) - 6 quotas (3 per gender)

NOCs that don't obtain quotas from the Olympic ranking can qualify a maximum of 1 quota place in the BMX Racing Continental Championships (elite category) for the highest-ranked NOC at the three Continental Championships: Africa, America and Asia.

2023 UCI BMX Racing World Championships - 2 quotas (1 per gender)

The NOC of the highest-ranked athlete at the 2023 World Championship (elite category) will receive one quota, providing that the NOC in question has not yet qualified any quota places through the Olympic ranking or the Continental Championships.

2024 UCI BMX Racing World Championships - 2 quotas (1 per gender)

The NOC of the highest-ranked athlete at the 2024 World Championship (elite category) will receive one quota, providing that the NOC in question has not yet qualified any quota places through the Olympic ranking, the Continental Championships or the 2023 World Championships.

What is the Paris 2024 BMX Racing competition format and schedule?

The Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines BMX Stadium will host the BMX Racing events, with the competition taking place on 1 and 2 of August 2022.

There are two events: men's and women's, and the format will be the same as previous Games, with preliminary rounds followed by explosive finals where three Olympic medals are up for grabs for both men and women.

READ MORE: The competition schedule for Olympic Games Paris 2024 has been released

BMX Racing riders to watch at Paris 2024

When you speak about BMX, you need to speak about Mariana Pajon. The Colombian rider is the only athlete to have won three Olympic medals in the sport, and the first woman to win two consecutive titles in BMX racing. She won gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, before claiming silver at last year’s Games in Tokyo. 

She will be hoping to continue living up to her nickname of ‘queen of BMX’ at Paris 2024. 

France is a powerhouse of BMX racing, with Sylvain Andre, Romain Mayet and Eddy Clerte all hoping to star at their home Olympic Games.

The reigning Olympic champions are Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann and Great Britain’s Bethany Shriever who will both be among the favourites to retain their titles in Paris.

Laura Smulders (Netherlands), Zoe Claessens (Switzerland) and Cédric Butti (Switzerland) have also proven this season that they are in form and ready to battle for Olympic glory.

BMX Racing qualification timeline to Paris 2024

  • 1 August 2022 - 2 June 2024: BMX Racing Olympic Qualification Period
  • 3 August-13 August 2023: 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland
  • 1 Octuber 2023: Universality place invitations sent
  • 15 January 2024: Invited NOCs to apply for Universality places
  • 4 June 2024: UCI BMX Racing Olympic Qualification Ranking and UCI BMX Racing Elite individual ranking are published
  • 11 June 2024: UCI to inform NOCs/Federations of their allocated quota places
  • 25 June 2024: NOCs to confirm use of allocated quota places to UCI
  • 26 June 2024: UCI to reallocate all unused quota places
  • 8 July 2024: Paris 2024 Sport Entries deadline
  • 26 July-11 August 2024: Olympic Games Paris 2024

Find out more about the qualification system for other sports that will feature at Paris 2024.

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