Dream comes true for BMX queen Walker

By Alastair Bull, NZ Newswire Updated August 11, 2012, 7:31 am

Sarah Walker had a dream that she'd been beaten in the London Olympics BMX final by Mariana Pajon.

On Friday it came true, even down to the silver medal hanging around her neck as a dubstep mix of the Chariots of Fire theme blasted out during the medal ceremony.

Walker got a great start in the final and made it to the all-important first corner second behind Pajon.

Try as she might in the rest of the race she couldn't catch the Colombian, who won her country's second-ever Olympic gold.

"Last night I had this dream that Mariana won and I was second and I was like `damn it, she keeps beating me, I can't get this image out of my head', and it was really frustrating," she said.

"But to finish with a silver medal I felt like I won it. I rode really well and Mariana just rode better today."

Walker, fourth in Beijing, did extremely well to even make it to the Olympics given a dislocated shoulder she suffered in April.

"I thought it might be over at that point and any crash between three months ago and today could have put me out," she said.

"But if I didn't push myself and push that limit and challenge myself I wouldn't be on the podium today. Every day was scary in training for the last three months."

Walker has been one to doubt herself in the past and it came through in her first couple of semi-final races, which put her in danger of missing the final.

But she was third in the last semi-final race, earning her spot, and by the time she reached the final she was prepared to do whatever it took to win a medal.

"I was ready to go down in a pile on that first corner if that's what it needed but I didn't want to get to the finish line having backed off to avoid a crash that might happen.

"I was ready to crash, ready to put my body on the line, and that's what it took."

Walker said the medal would mean plenty to her home town of Kawerau and to New Zealand BMX racing, and hoped it would give a boost to the BMX World Championships in Auckland in July next year.

Walker's training partner, Laura Smulders of the Netherlands, took a surprise bronze.



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