30 Sep 2018

Walker seals BMX World Cup top-three finish

5:34 pm on 30 September 2018

London Olympics silver medallist Sarah Walker has shaken off a horror run of injuries to secure her first BMX World Cup podium finish for seven years.

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker Photo: Photosport

Walker, 30, finished third in the penultimate round of the BMX World Cup series in Santiago del Estero, northern Argentina. She was edged by current world champion Laura Smulders of the Netherlands, and the 2017 world champion Alise Willoughby (USA).

Walker's last World Cup podium was in London in 2011, the year before she finished second at the 2012 London Olympics.

She has since battled a number of serious injuries including concussion and a series of broken bones.

Walker finished third in a stacked qualifying heat ahead of Willoughby and fellow American Brooke Crain, who were both forced to qualify in the last chance heat.

The New Zealander then won her quarter-final in impressive fashion, storming out of the gate to lead throughout, then before taking second behind American Felicia Stancil in a semi-final photo finish by just .005sec.

She bounced well out of the gate in the final and while Smulders and Willoughby pushed clear, Walker was just as emphatic in third placing.

She'll compete again on Monday (NZT) at the same venue in the final World Cup round of the year.