Kiwi Olympic medallist Sarah Walker is leaving her Tokyo fate up to Cycling New Zealand (CNZ) after opting out of overseas qualifying events due to Covid-19 restrictions and risks.
Walker, who won silver at the 2012 London Olympics, has revealed she and fellow Kiwi BMX cyclist Rebecca Petch have decided against competing in overseas qualification events for their own safety.
The problem is, there’s only one spot available for Tokyo, meaning CNZ will now be forced to use past results to decide who will go and who will miss out.
Regardless, the 32-year-old told Newstalk ZB the risk wasn’t worth it.
"I was trying to find more reasons to go but just couldn't find enough," Walker said.
"For me, a big motivating factor is enjoyment and I love doing what I do and I love riding my bike and will going to those races include enjoyment of riding my bike?"
"The logistics of travel, the risk of getting stuck, the two weeks in managed isolation - if you manage to make it back on the flight said you were going to be on - and if you don't, what are you going to do if you get stuck overseas? So there are so many factors and we just make the best decision we can with the information we have."
Choosing between Walker and Petch will be a tough task for CNZ selectors, with little separating the two as of late. The choice has to be based on international results, ruling out an internal race in New Zealand.
The last time the two raced internationally was February 2020, where they both made the semi-finals.
"Both of us have been performing on equal footing and it's hard to decide which one has the upper hand," Walker said.
"So we could travel and it could continue that trend of actually there's not a clear cut decision or could make the difference between someone is going and someone isn't.
"But we've got to do what's best for us as athletes, that's where we look at what's best for our build-up and go from there and make the decision based off that."
Walker added if she wasn’t selected for Tokyo, it wouldn’t necessarily mean she’d retire.
Cycling New Zealand's selection will be announced in June.