Three members of the Great Britain Cycling Team have reached the 2018 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup finals in their very first competition at that level.
Charlotte Worthington, Alex Coleborn and Jack Clark will all compete for medals after superb riding in Hiroshima, qualifying from the semi-finals after the first day of competition was wiped out due to the weather.
It means the trio will all return in the early hours of the morning in the season opener in Japan, with the sport of BMX Freestyle Park set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
No time like the present for Worthington
Worthington had never previously competed in an international event – not that it mattered in Hiroshima.
That came thanks to a superb score of 63.80 in her qualification round, comfortably sat in fifth place with the top eight all making it through to Sunday morning’s final.
More than ten points separated her from missing out, with American Hannah Roberts top of the pile on 73.80 points, ahead of Germany’s Lara Lessman and Nikita Ducarroz on Switzerland.
Home favourite Oike Minato was fourth but with Worthington within five points of the top three, the final is set to be an exciting introduction for the World Cup debutant.
Coleborn and Clark ease into final
Just one run was needed from each of Coleborn and Clark, taking their places in the final in emphatic style with the former top of the pile after the semi-finals.
Three heats decided the final 12 but nobody could usurp Coleborn from top spot, an assured showing from the 2017 UCI Urban Cycling world silver medallist seeing him score 84.37.
Never seen BMX Freestyle before? Here's @AlexColebornBmx to show you how it's done!— British Cycling (@BritishCycling) April 7, 2018
The is into tomorrow's World Cup final after this semi-final topping display...#UCIBMXWC ( @fiseworld) pic.twitter.com/kwhKENP1HB
That was nearly one point ahead of his closest challengers, Justin Dowell of the United States and Costa Rica’s Kenneth Tencio.
But you don’t have far to look in the standings to find Clark, registering the fifth best score of 83.00 as the 23-year-old comfortably took his place in Sunday’s showcase.
It wasn’t to be for Ben Wallace however, as he missed out on the top-12 by less than three points, the 31-year-old scoring 77.43 points to finish in 17th place having ridden well.
Meanwhile there was a double dose of bad luck for Mark Webb, crashing in both runs in his first competition in more than a year.
But with real promise shown in his rides and in practice, he and the rest of the Great Britain Cycling Team will be looking for more when the season continues.