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Olympics

Strombergs too strong again in BMX

  • Latvia's Maris Strombergs leads the competition during a BMX cycling men's final run during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Strombergs after winning the men's BMX cycling event at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Aug. 10, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

  • Latvia's Maris Strombergs leads the men's BMX event during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park August 10, 2012. (REUTERS/Paul Hanna)

LONDON: Latvia's Maris Strombergs remained the only men's BMX Olympic champion when he retained his title at the London Games on Friday.

Strombergs, who had failed to impress in the quarter and semi-finals, found his form to lead from the first bend to the finish line to beat Australian world champion and pre-race favourite Sam Willoughby.

Colombian Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala claimed bronze.

Strombergs had won the first Olympic men's BMX title four years ago when the discipline was introduced in the Games in Beijing.

Strombergs had a great start and managed the first bend better than anyone else and kept his composure despite being under intense pressure from Willoughby.

Dutchman Raymon van der Biezen, who had clocked the best time in the seeding run and had won his three quarter-final runs as well as the first of three semi-final dashes, settled for fourth.

American Connor Fields was one of two riders who crashed and took seventh place ahead of home hope Liam Phillips.

Phillips had been in decent form since Friday but lost control in the penultimate bend while he seemed in contention for a podium finish.

France's Joris Daudet, who was among the favourites coming into the Games, crashed in the third run of the semi-finals and did not take part in the final run on the 450-metre track at the VeloPark.

Soccer's David Beckham and British double Olympic track cycling champion Victoria Pendleton were in the stands.

 

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