Posted by Editor on 07/29/21
Drew Mechielsen has become the second Canadian woman to ever make it to the women's final at the Olympics in BMX (Samantha Cools finished 7th in Beijing in 2008), finishing eighth overall. Bethany Shriever of Great Britain, in a stunning upset, beat two time defending champion Mariana Pajon of Colombia for the gold, with Merel Smulders of the Netherlands taking bronze.
Bethany Shriever nips defending champion Mariana Pajon at the line to take gold
After making it through the opening qualifiers on Wednesday, Mechielsen was into the semi-finals round for Thursday, but drew the toughest of the two heats, racing against Pajon, world number one, Smulders and Americans Alise Willoughby (the reigning world champion and silver in Rio) and Felicia Stancil.
In the first run of the semifinals, Mechielsen navigated a crash filled race to finish third. She was seventh in the second moto, but squeaked into the medal race with a fourth, after avoiding another crash.
The medal final was a single race. Mechielsen was behind coming down the ramp, recovered in the middle of the race to be competing for as high as sixth, but faded on the final straight.
Canada's only male entry, James Palmer, did not advance past the quarterfinals round.
Photos and quotes to follow.
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