Sam Willoughby has won the silver medal in the final of the men's BMX.
Sam Willoughby has won the silver medal in the final of the men's BMX. Getty Images Sport - Bryn Lennon

Willoughby a silver bandit

AUSTRALIAN rider Sam Willoughby has claimed the silver medal in the final of the men's BMX after falling behind defending champion Maris Strombergs.

However, the news was not as good for Australian Caroline Buchanan who finished fourth in the women's final.

Willoughby had a good start but found himself behind Strombergs heading into the first corner and from there, the current world champion could not make up the ground needed to win the gold medal.

A jubilant Strombergs successfully defending the gold medal he won in Beijing four years ago, while Colombian Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala claimed the bronze..

Buchanan headed into her final as one of the heavily backed favourites based on her form leading into the final.

But Buchanan missed the start and was never in the race to contend for the medal places, Colombian Mariana Pajon taking gold, New Zealand's Sarah Walker the silver and Netherlands' Laura Smulders bronze.

Earlier, both Willoughby and Buchanan secured top spots heading into the finals after impressive runs in the semi-finals.

Buchanan grabbed her spot by finishing first (twice) and second in her three heats, while Willoughby, the reigning world champion, took victory in the first two heats before staying out of trouble in the third run. 

However, the news was not as good for the other two Australians competing in the semi-finals, with Khalen Young and  Lauren Reynolds both effectively knocked out after the first two heats.


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