BMX silver medallist Sam Willoughby has captured the hearts of young Australian tweeters, sending him towards the top of the trending list.

@Emjaybee24 tweeted: "The BMX racing is so cool. Congrats to Sam Willoughby on winning silver in the men's race. #London2012 #GoAussies"

Willoughby had to start the final from gate five on the grid, but got away superbly and charged on to beat all but Latvia's Maris Strombergs, who successfully defended his Olympic crown.

@sampappers tweeted: "Sam Willoughby.. Great athlete in the BMX. Unlucky not to get gold. But Strombergs is a beast.. #greatsport #shameitsoveralready.

Australia wasn't so lucky in the women's race, with favourite Caroline Buchanan finishing fifth in the final.

Buchanan was in tears after the race, describing it as a nightmare.

She tweeted: "Thank you everyone for your support! Completely numb... #Nightmare but that's BMX it's brutal...but I still love it!"

American BMX veteran Jamie Bestwick had some advice for the 21-year-old, tweeting: "Cry a tear, keep your head high and wear a smile on your face because tomorrow is a new day BMX is proud of you! @ShanazeReade @CBuchanan68".

NZ Newswire