Sam Willoughby and WA’s Khalen Young have qualified for today’s BMX semi-finals
with strong performances – particularly in the crucial fourth run.
other Australian in the field, Brian Kirkham, 26 from Adelaide, fell in each of
his first two runs, and failed to make up the points required in the last three
runs to make the semi-finals.
was forced into two extra rides after missing on a countback with his first
three qualifying runs.
20 year-old, ran fourth, first and third in his three runs over the 450m
circuit at the open-air Olympic Park venue to amass eight points, the same as
Latvia’s Maris Strombergs, gold medallist at the Beijing Olympics.
Strombergs won through ahead of Willoughby because he had a second, fifth and
first placing in his three runs. The top points earner of Willoughby’s heat was
Twan van Gendt of the Netherlands, who had seven points.
Dutchman, Raymon van der Biezen, the fastest qualifier on Wednesday, won all
three runs in the opening heat to qualify ahead of Latvian, Edzus Treimanis.
27, from Perth, fell in his first run, but recovered well to finish second and
third in his next two attempts, to miss qualifying automatically by only one
point. He, too, had to qualify via the two extra rides.
after brilliant fourth runs both riders conserved energy by just going through
the motions in their fifth qualifying ride, knowing they had secured enough
points to get through.
Kirkham was eliminated from the semi-finals, despite winning his fourth run and
finishing second in his fifth.
efforts gave him a combined total of 25 points, four points behind fourth
qualifier Zabala Oquendo of Colombia.
confirmed he had merely gone through the motions in his fifth ride, having
already accumulated enough points (16) to secure third spot in his heat.
tried to conserve energy for tomorrow,” he said. "It was a learning curve for
me and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
who qualified with 19 points in the first heat, was sore after the
quarterfinals and will spend time in recovery tonight, according to coach Wade
said the falls suffered by Kirkham were part and parcel of BMX racing, and over
which he had no control.
was a typical BMX day and some days things don’t go your way,” Bootes said.
definitely had the hard way through today. We got two people through, and
they’re going back to recover for four full laps tomorrow now.
war out there and we’re just going to take each race as a battle to get to the
end out there, and whoever wants it more is going to get to the end and win.
Brian, it was not even his fault. People were crashing in front of him and
taking him down.
least he showed the world he’s fast enough and capable of doing things, but
this sport is brutal, and you’ve just got to try to be aggressive out there,
keep clean, and get a good lap to the finish.”