BMX Australia is pleased to congratulate our five athletes – Sam Willoughby (SA), Brian Kirkham (SA), Khalen Young (WA), Caroline Buchanan (ACT), Lauren Reynolds (WA) – who have been endorsed by the Australian Olympic Committee to represent the sport and Australia at the London Olympic Games.
Expectations are high from the team members who have placed Australia at the top of the nations ranking in the sport by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale). It is that ranking that has allowed Australia to send a full squad of 3 male riders and 2 females riders to the 2012 games.
BMXA President, Barry Knight said he is excited for the sport and the prospect of watching the Australian riders podium at the games.
“I’m as excited as the young athletes who have been selected to represent Australia at the Olympics,” Mr Knight said.
“We have a talented group of riders who have shown the world just how competitive Australia is in the sport of BMX by holding onto the number one ranked nation in both the male and female categories since 2011.
“BMX in Australia continues to grow and with the pathways provided by the sport for our competitors to ride at what is such an iconic global sporting event I can see BMX going to a whole new level.
Sam Willoughby and Caroline Buchanan are two such riders who performed well at the World Championships in Birmingham last month. Willoughby won the Elite Mens final becoming the World Champion where he kept his opponents at bay with a ride that saw him cross the finish line 3 bike lengths ahead of second place.
Caroline Buchanan claimed the World title in the Time Trial and while not a medal sport at the games, it’s an important part of setting up success in the race event. Riders will time trial to determine their place in their motos (heats); a good result will enable a better starting gate position.
Brian Kirkham is the current 2012 Australian National Champion with Lauren Reynolds finishing second at the National Championships that were held in April at the Blue Lake BMX Club in Mount Gambier. Both riders flew back to Australia with just a 5 day turnaround from competing at the second World Cup race in Randaberg, Norway. Khalen Young crashed heavily in the quarter-finals at the World Championships and was unlucky not to have progressed further.
National Team Coach Wade Bootes is pleased with how the lead in to the Olympics has gone. “The team have demonstrated they are capable of medalling in the London by their results so far”, Bootes said.
“The years of development and hard work from all the riders and staff involved in the BMX Australia High Performance Program, have placed us in a great position as we head into the games.”
BMX Australia on behalf of its membership wishes Sam, Khalen, Brian, Caroline and Lauren every success in London.