Australian riders have added a further three gold medals to their tally on a thrilling third day at the BMX world championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
PIC: Tom Tucker racing to W1 – Craig Dutton Photography
On a day when 10 Aussies claimed world plates for making it through to the finals and a further eight riders contested semis, Thomas Tucker (13yrs boy’s), Jordan Callum (14yrs boy’s) and Kira Hill (14yrs girl’s) all won gold to be crowned world champions.
The green and gold contingent in Baku have now won a total of 14 medals – six gold, four silver and four bronze – already eclipsing the team’s total of 12 from Rock Hill in the USA last year with the weekend’s elite racing to come.
Including the medallists, Australian riders earned 35 world plates over the three days of challenge racing – a remarkable feat for the 110 entries across those categories.
For Tucker it was a stunning sixth consecutive world 20” challenge title, the Pine Rivers teen winning the W1 plate every year since his first in the 8yrs event in Auckland in 2013.
It also brings the determined youngster’s overall individual tally at world championship level to seven gold medals – he won the 12 & under cruiser event in 2017 for good measure.
“I’m stoked with today,” Tucker, who won every lap he contested on the day, said.
“I just wanted to get out in front and stay in front the whole race and I got that done.”
The gold medals for Callum and Hill were wonderful rewards and a deserved step up from W2 plates won earlier – Callum’s in the cruiser event two days ago in Baku and Hill’s in the 20” race in Rock Hill last year.
Rockingham’s Callum was another who clean swept his races on a busy day where he faced the starter seven times.
“I didn’t have the best gates in the motos but I hole-shotted the eights (1/8 final) and quarters and felt really good so I went into the semi confident,” Callum said.
“I won that and so went into the final (feeling) pretty good.
“In the final I was coming second and I made the move on the last corner in cruiser and got pipped on the line so I made sure I stayed outside so no one passed me down the straight.”
Like her male compatriots, Nerang’s Hill was ecstatic with her performance, outlining her successful plan to lay down the gauntlet to her rivals from the second the gate dropped.
“It was amazing to win the world championships, I’m really happy,” Hill said.
“I just came out aggressive, got into the position I wanted to be in and raced the race.”
Other finalists on a whirlwind day for the Australians were Michael Robinson (4th – masters), Caitlin Jong (5th – 13yrs girl’s), Tahlia Marsh (6th – 15yrs girl’s), Callum Howarth (7th – 13yrs boy’s), Buddha Baum (8th – 15yrs boy’s), James Lautier (8th – 17-24 men’s) and Des’Ree Barnes (8th – 16yrs girl’s).
Lautier’s finalist position added to the silver medal he won in the cruiser event earlier this week, while Marsh also ended her campaign with two world plates.
If you missed the action on day 3, you can catch up via the YouTube video below.
For the finals, head to 4:41:00.
Day four of the world championships will feature 14 Australian entrants in motos across the four elite classes with action scheduled to begin at 0240 AEST on Saturday morning.
PS. Miss this? One of our favourite videos from the week! Glenn Eden cheering on daughter Portia to a W1! This is the type of support our Aussie Challenge riders have experienced this week and it has been brilliant! FYI, Glenn was a semi finalist in the 45-49 men’s cruiser race too.