After a challenging 2019, Saya Sakakibara is determined to rebound as she enters the biggest year of her young BMX career.
The 20-year-old was unable to replicate the highs of her stunning 2018 debut season last year, with the Helensburgh athlete conceding a number of heavy crashes left her scared for the first time in her career.
Now, with the Tokyo Olympics just seven months away, Sakakibara has declared she is ready to return to her best and secure her place in the Australian team.
That quest begins with two home World Cup rounds, the emerging star hoping to use the events as a springboard for a successful 2020.
"It was a mixed year for me," Sakakibara said. "I didn't have the success I would have liked, but I'm happy I was able to experience the challenges, the crashes, the mental battles.
"I was scared to race again, to be able to overcome that, I feel like I really needed to have those experiences and learn from it, so I know what to do coming into the Olympics.
"It's going to be a big year, starting off with World Cup rounds in Shepparton and Bathurst. I've never experienced a home World Cup, so that's going to be very exciting and so important to starting the year well."
With the quest for Olympic qualification heating up across a range of sports, Sakakibara finds herself in a familiar position with many of the Illawarra's top athletes.
Some, like Sally Fitzgibbons and Jessica Hull have effectively booked their ticket, while others, like Grace Stewart, Blake Govers and Flynn Ogilvie simply need to maintain their place in their national teams.
Others, like Emma and David McKeon will see their qualification determined at national selection trials.
The highest ranked Australian in the Olympic BMX qualification standings, Sakakibara is well placed to secure her spot in Tokyo when the entrants are finalised on June 2.
"The Olympics has always been a dream and I only recently realised that it could be a reality. I've done a few shoots with Channel Seven for their Olympic campaign and doing them alongside Kai as well is so special.
"It's easy to be caught up wanting to be there. Australia should be get two spots, I just have to keep doing what I'm doing, training hard and making sure I'm progressing as a rider each day.
"Even if I'm not getting results, I just need to be patient and do the best I can on the day and hopefully they will come."
Also in the hunt for a trip to Tokyo is Sakakibara's older brother Kai. Whereas two Australian women look set to qualify for the Games, the current rankings indicate Australia will earn just one men's quota place.
Sakakibara currently holds the edge on the rankings,but Saya is confident Kai and Anthony Dean will be able to secure two places for Australia.
"Men's BMX is really competitive, it's really tough being in that category. Australia currently being sixth in the nations ranking only gets them one spot, but I have a lot of faith in Kai and Anthony to get two spots."
The Illawarra's Olympic Hopefuls
Jessica Hull has run qualifying times in the 1500 metres and 5000m, while Ryan Gregson, Chloe Tighe, Sarah Carli and Madeline Hills are all in the mix.
Todd Blanchfield and Xavier Cooks are pushing for Boomers selection.
Siblings Saya and Kai Sakakibara are well-placed to qualify, but must continue to record solid results in early 2020, with entrants finalised in early June.
Dylan Ryan will play for the Olyroos at next week's AFC Under 23 Championships, with a top three finish enough to secure the side Olympic qualification.
The next phase of the Matildas qualifying process will take place in early February, with Caitlin Foord set to feature for Australia.
With the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras already securing a place in Tokyo, Grace Stewart, Blake Govers and Flynn Ogilvie are now attempting to secure their place in the final Olympic squads.
The Australian women's sevens team has qualified for the Olympics, with Emma Tonegato likely to feature in the side's attempt to defend the gold medal won in Rio.
Teenager Kieran Woolley is in the hunt to compete in the inaugural Olympic skateboarding competition.
Emma and David McKeon will swim for a place in the Olympic team at June's Selection Trials.
Both Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright have qualified for the first Olympic surfing competition by virtue of results in the 2019 World Surf League.
Ellen Perez is striving to qualify for the Olympic tennis competition.