Langley City’s Drew Mechielsen made it all the way to the finals and a top-10 finish in her Olympic debut.
At the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo on Thursday, July 29 and Friday, July 30, Mechielsen qualified for both the women’s BMX Racing semi-final and final rounds.
She eventually crossed the finish line in 8th place, Canada’s second-best result in the women’s field since the event was introduced at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
“To everyone who cheered from home and sent me messages, thank you so much,” Mechielsen said.
Mechielsen finished among the top five in her three quarter-final heats, earning her a spot in the semi-final round.
Despite several crashes in the semi-finals, she remained unscathed and placed third, seventh and fourth to advance to the final round.
“I am feeling really incredible,” Mechielsen enthused.
“I would have liked to have a little bit of a better run in that last round but to make it to the finals was surreal. I’m happy with how I rode, obviously you want to win everything but my riding was the best that it could have been, and that was my goal coming here.”
Fellow Canadian BMX rider James Palmer did not advance past the quarter-final round despite finishing fourth in his last heat on Thursday.
“I struggled with the track out there and it took me a couple of laps to get going and fortunately I was able to put down a solid one in the last round but at that point I was a little too far out of the running to qualify,” said Palmer.
“I’m happy with how I put everything into it, that’s something I can take away from this and be proud of.”
Canadian cycling events are on a two-day hiatus and will resume at the Izu Velodrome from August 2-8, showcasing both endurance and sprint competitions. All events can be streamed on CBC Olympics.
Have a story tip? Email: email@example.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.