Willoughby rallies for BMX silver

By Roger Vaughan, NZ Newswire Updated August 11, 2012, 6:26 am

A change of attitude worked a treat as world champion Sam Willoughby rallied superbly to snatch the silver medal in Olympic men's BMX cycling on Friday.

Willoughby, who turns 21 next week, 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.

Colombian Carlos Oquendo took the bronze.

Willoughby breezed through the semi-finals after needing all five quarter-final runs on Thursday to progress.

"Yesterday was a bit overwhelming for me, for the first time the whole Olympic hype got to me and I felt it," said Willoughby after claiming Australia's first medal in Olympic cycling's newest discipline.

"I made a lot of mistakes, it was a frustrating day.

"I knew physically I was really good, but mentally it all got to me.

"Today, I tried to have a bit of fun and definitely I rode a lot better.

"To come out with a silver medal is a huge honour."

It was a mixed day for Australia, with Caroline Buchanan dominating the women's competition until the final.

She had a bad start and finished fifth behind Colombian winner Mariana Pajon.

New Zealander Sarah Walker won silver and Dutch rider Laura Smulders took the bronze medal.

After two poor semi-final runs, Australian Lauren Reynolds went for broke in the third and crashed out.

Khalen Young, 28, announced his retirement from international competition after he hurt his back in his first semi-final run.

He managed to race the second run, but pulled out of the third.

Brian Kirkham did not progress pass the quarter-finals.

Willoughby's silver means Australian cycling will almost certainly end these Olympics on one gold, two silver and three bronze.

The Australian mountain bikers are not expected to be in medal contention for the weekend's races at Hadleigh Farm, Essex.

It is a vast improvement on the solitary silver medal they won in Beijing and joins Sydney as the sport's second most successful Olympics.

But they would have expected more success, particularly on the track, where Great Britain dominated with seven golds from 10 events.

Rugby

Live

2015 Super Rugby Tournament

H263:32
Live
AMI Stadium

Results

2014/15 Aviva Premiership (ENG)

2015 Super Rugby Tournament

2014/15 European Champions Cup

2015 Super Rugby Tournament

Schedule

2015 Super Rugby Tournament

9:55pm NZST Sat, 25th April
3:05am NZST Sun, 26th April

2014/15 Aviva Premiership (ENG)

1:00am NZST Sun, 26th April
2:00am NZST Sun, 26th April
2:00am NZST Sun, 26th April
2:15am NZST Sun, 26th April

League

Live

2015 NRL Premiership Season

H137
Live
AAMI Park

Schedule

2015 NRL Premiership Season

10:00pm NZST Sat, 25th April
4:00pm NZST Sun, 26th April
6:00pm NZST Sun, 26th April

2015 Australia v New Zealand

10:00pm NZST Fri, 1st May

Tennis

Schedule

2015 Hopman Cup XXVII

2015 Barcelona Open

2:00am NZST Sat, 25th April
2:00am NZST Sat, 25th April

2015 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix

2:00am NZST Sat, 25th April
2:00am NZST Sat, 25th April

2015 BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy

2:00am NZST Sat, 25th April
2:00am NZST Sat, 25th April

Cricket

Football

Live

2014/15 Australian A-League

H1 (00:47)
Live
Parramatta Stadium Live Scores

Results

2014/15 Spanish La Liga

2014/15 Scottish Premiership

2014/15 German Bundesliga

2014/15 Australian A-League

2014/15 UEFA Europa League

Schedule

2014/15 Australian A-League

25 April 7:45pm

2014/15 English Premier League

25 April 9:45pm
26 April 12:00am
26 April 12:00am

2014/15 German Bundesliga

25 April 11:30pm

2014/15 English League Championship

Bournemouth v Bolton

26 April 12:00am