BMX cyclist Liam Phillips becomes world champion
Liam Phillips produced a sensational performance to become the
BMX world champion in Auckland, New Zealand, early on Sunday (July
24-year-old won his first world title by winning every race en
route to the final including all three of his preliminary races
plus the 1/8, quarter and semi-finals.
rider from Burnham then maintained his composure and led out the
final to earn a 'rainbow jersey' and was visibly emotional as
the reality of his achievement sunk in.
from 2011, Ive been to every worlds since 1996 when I was
a kid," he said. "Its the first time Ive
knew it would be tight and planned for this. I knew my form was
quite good when I won the Manchester World Cup, but then I made
mistakes at the next two world cups in Europe. I just wanted to
keep the mistakes to a minimum and I managed that."
Cycling Olympic BMX coach Grant White added: "Its phenomenal
and hed done the work. Once youve done the work youre
prepared and you can sit there with a bit of confidence."
done the work to be successful and thats over a long period
of time, thats not over the last few months , thats
over the last couple of years. He knew hed had a great preparation
over the last 12 months and he delivered."
a culmination of everything, we knew he was in the best shape
of his life and he came here and delivered . Its unbelievable,
year he knows hes capable and hes got the package.
He put it all together."
who finished sixth in Saturdays time trial, made super progress
through the preliminary 'moto' heats with three convincing victories
and continued the pattern in the knockout rounds.
champion Sam Willoughby and time trial winner Connor Fields left
in the same quarter final heat as two-time Olympic champion Maris
Strombergs, who also failed to progress to the semi finals.
had no such difficulties leading out his quarter final and was
equally as strong in winning his semi final heat. In the final
a powerful start again gave Phillips the initiative and he maintained
his composure to lead out the race and earn a prestigious rainbow
jersey, finishing ahead of New Zealands Marc Willers and
Germanys Luis Brethauer.