Merel Smulders has won bronze at the Olympic Games on Friday.

The BMX rider is thus following in the footsteps of her older sister Laura, who also won bronze in London nine years ago.

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The gold in Tokyo went to Britain's Bethany Shrever and the silver went to two-time Olympic champion Mariana Pajon of Colombia.

Smulders got off to a good start at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo and came through the first corner in second.

Later, the Olympic debutant lost a spot, but she managed to hold on to third place.

Laura Smulders (27) fell in the semi-finals together with Judy Baauw.

The older sister of the two was injured and watched as a spectator overjoyed how her 23-year-old sister won a medal.

Nine years ago, Laura Smulders was the first Dutch medalist ever on the BMX at the Games.

Like her sister today, she was a debutant who surprised on the highest podium.

Shortly before Merel Smulders surprisingly won bronze, there was already great Dutch success on the BMX track in Tokyo.

Niek Kimman became Olympic champion despite a tear in his kneecap.

Merel (left) and Laura Smulders celebrate the bronze medal in Japan.

Merel (left) and Laura Smulders celebrate the bronze medal in Japan.

Photo: ANP