Colombia’s Olympic champion Mariana Pajon claimed the elite women’s title at the International Cycling Union (UCI) BMX World Championships on the track that was named after her in Medellin.
The 24-year-old was looking to reclaim the title she had previously earned in 2011 and 2014, but had to cope with the added pressure of competing in front of an expectant home crowd.
Pajon, fresh from earning a bronze medal in yesterday’s time trial, eased into the eight-rider final by triumphing in both her quarter and semi-final rides.
She was expected to face competition from the United States’ Alise Post and newly crowned time trial champion Caroline Buchanan of Australia, who finished first and second respectively in their semi-final.
The duo were unable to deny the home favourite gold as Pajon ultimately stormed to victory, with Buchanan crossing as the runner-up ahead of bronze medallist Post.
The World Championships offered a final chance for riders who had yet to secure an Olympic spot to claim a berth, with New Zealand’s Sarah Walker missing out.
Walker, the London 2012 silver medallist, failed to finish as one of the top two riders who had been yet to seal a place to miss out on the Games.
Nadja Pries and Maria Gabriela Diaz earned berths for Germany and Argentina respectively.
The men’s elite title was claimed by Joris Daudet, as the Frenchman held off defending champion Niek Kimmann of The Netherlands’ in the closing stages of the final to earn the title for the first time since 2011.
Nic Long completed the podium positions to earn a Rio 2016 berth for the United States.
New Zealand’s Maynard Peel claimed the men’s junior title, leading home yesterday’s time trial world champion Mathis Ragot Richard of France and Switzerland’s Cédric Butti.
The Netherlands’ Ruby Huisman won the women’s title, with Russia’s Natalia Afremova taking silver and Silje Fiskebekk of Norway securing bronze.