In a repeat performance, Melinda McLeod claimed her second gold medal of the BMX World Championships in Victoria, Canada today. The Mackay youngster raced in the 13 & 14 cruiser or 26 inch division on the final day of racing. McLeod made her move in the final straight to pass American rider, Shelby Stacey. Fellow Australian rider, Lacey Oliver (Gold Coast) rode into second place to claim silver. (Photo by Greg Descantes – www.descantes.com)
McLeod's two gold medals in two races makes her the most successful Australian rider at this year’s World Championships.
Another Mackay rider, Adam Shields gained a fourth place with Maitland’s Graham Mudd beating him for third place in the 13 & 14 boys cruiser.
A bronze medal for youngster, Michael Chasteneauf(Eastfield) in the15 & 16 Cruiser was matched by another bronze medal by Luke Pretlove (Warrnambool) in the 17-24 age cruiser.
Canberra’s Caroline Buchanan had trouble at the start gate but made her way up into sixth in Junior Women’s Cruiser..
Josh Callan (Lilydale) was placing second in his semi-final when he crashed. Callan sustained a broken collarbone.
Overall the Talent ID squad (14-16 age group) has claimed 10 finalist at the World Championships which includes 7 podium places in just over 3 days. This is a good indication for Australia's development squad as they aim towards the London Olympics in 2012.
Stand outs over the four days of racing were Melinda McLeod and Lacey Oliver with their total of four medals.
Lauren Reynolds’ (Bunbury) bronze medal on the second day of competition in 16 girls. This is a strong performance as the top two placings were Marian Pajon (Columbia) and Alise Post (USA) who both race competitively with elite women in America.
Also two bronze medals for Victoria's Michael Chasteauneeuf (Eastfield) was highly regarded in what is seen as a tough age division.
The unluckiest rider was Sam Willoughby (Adelaide) who looked in good form through the preliminary rounds. Willoughby hit the start gate and was taken out in the last corner when he was moving into a fourth spot causing him to miss making the final.
Khalen Young's silver in the elite men's race was a highlight of the championships. Elite men and women riders will now prepare for the second round of the Supercross World Cup in China on the Olympic track at the end of August.
29 July 2007
Young scores silver at UCI BMX World Championships
Reigning Australian Champion, Khalen Young, has collected silver in the elite men's race at the UCI BMX World Championships in Victoria, Canada.
The 22 year old Perth born rider challenged the three time World Champion, America's Kyle Bennett, right until the fourth and final straight when Bennett surged ahead to claim the gold. American Randy Stumpfhauser was third. Young was the only Australian to make it to the final after Jamie Gray (Brisbane) was eliminated in the semi-finals.
Bennett was helped to victory by drawing the preferred starting gate position but Young refused to be intimidated.
"I got out of the gate good. Kyle had the inside and we fought it out to the end," said Young. "I threw everything I had into it. Young had struggled with less than ideal preparation after coming down with the flu a week before the Championships." . "I haven't ridden for a week," he admitted. "But I knew I'd done the work and I just want to thank the High Performance program for picking me up." Young joined the Cycling Australia / AIS BMX HIgh Performance Program earlier this year and is currently ranked fifth in the world.
In April he scored a stunning victory in the opening round of the World Cup Supercross in Spain and will be out to repeat that feat when he heads to China next month for the second round being staged on the 2008 Beijing Olympic course.
In the junior women Canberra's Caroline Buchanan, 16, made it to the final and managed to avoid two crashes to cross the line in fifth place.
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