Tokyo Olympics 2020: BMX hopeful Sarah Walker taking coronavirus concerns 'day by day'

Olympic BMX hopeful Sarah Walker says the New Zealand BMX team are trying to get their heads around how they will be affected by the latest impacts of coronavirus on the sport.

Cycling's governing body plans to retroactively use March 3 as the cut-off point for Olympic qualification in mountain bike and BMX racing, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decimate the sporting calendar.

Road and track cycling have completed their qualification events, the last of which was the Berlin track world championships last month, but riders in the other disciplines had until June 1 to score enough points to book their place in the team.

That's not the case now with several pre-Olympic events called off.

Walker says the last few weeks had already been full of uncertainty.

"We've just been taking it day by day and just working on training hard still, and seeing what happens.

"But this news from UCI, we're just really going to get our head around what that actually means and figure out what the next plans are."

She says it could impact on three BMX riders trying to make it to the Olympics.

"Three girls have been trying to qualify two spots for Tokyo and the men are trying to qualify one spot, so it's a lot of unknowns and a lot outside of our control. "What's in our control is just going to training and working hard, and then getting our heads around where everything's at."

Walker, who won a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics, has already dealt with plenty of adversity in her career.

Following her London triumph, a series of serious crashes and broken bones ultimately cost her a spot in the team for Rio 2016.

Walker says those testing times - and her bounce back to form since - have proved her resilience. 

"This is a little bit different, but I've just used the skills that I've gained from that injury adversity and applying it now, just focussing on one day at a time and doing the best that I can each day."

Overall, Walker is pretty philosophical and says all they can do is keep working on getting faster.

"This is unusual times for anything, including sport, so I just want to make sure that I'm doing everything I can each day. At the moment, it seems to be changing day by day, so it's kind of just control the controllables really."

With the duration of the ongoing coronavirus crisis unknown, the UCI says basing qualification on the standings come March 3 was the fairest way to ensure integrity in the process.

"Maintaining the qualification periods initially planned (May 27 for mountain bike, June 1 for BMX Racing and June 7 for para-cycling) would have resulted in unfairness between nations," the UCI says.

"The UCI has therefore decided to propose to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and IPC to stop the procedure as of March 3, in view of the fact that up until that date, no nation had been prevented from travelling to events."