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Bailey and Young leading Beijing charge

8 May 2007

Tanya Bailey has regained her national title while Khalen Young won his first national BMX crown in an action packed Australian BMX championships at Lake Macquarie.

After relocating from Perth to Sydney last year for training purposes, the move has paid off for 26-year-old Bailey who won by a tyre from Melissa Mankowski who was riding in her first elite national championship race.

Bailey’s sixth national title indicates things are in order 15 months out from the Beijing Olympics.

“To represent Australia at the Olympics would be a dream come true,” said Bailey. “I just hope I can continue my form through the Worlds and into next year.

“I just can’t wait to go to the Worlds now and give those girls a bit of a run for their money.”

Twenty three-year-old Young has made a comeback after a four-year hiatus in a bid to make the Australian Olympic team for the Beijing Games, where BMX will make its debut.

Like Bailey, Young has moved from Perth to train with the BMX High Performance Squad in Sydney.

After winner the opening round of the World Cup Supercross in Madrid, Young was modest about his winning performance at the Nationals.

“It’s just another race. I’ve had a good start to the season, winning the World Cup a couple of weeks ago in Spain, and it’s just good to keep the ball rolling.

“My focus at the moment is just to stay healthy and keep on winning races and not to be denied a chance to represent Australia at the Olympics,” said Young.

“I’m just going to keep on keeping on and plugging away at my training. It would be pretty good to be the only individual Aboriginal athlete at the (Beijing) Olympics, and there is no reason why I can’t potentially be firstly the world champion in July and potentially the Olympic champion in 2008.”

Wade Bootes finished second in the men’s elite competition ahead of 2005 National Champion Luke Madill who continues his tremendous comeback after breaking his back in May last year in a training accident which saw him hospitalised for two months. 2006 Champion, Kamikaze, failed to make the final after crashing out in the semi-finals.

The national elite squad of six men and six women will be aiming to continue their good form leading into July’s World Championships, where as a team they need to finish in the top five in the world to assist qualify the maximum of three male spots and two female for Beijing. Currently the squad is ranked is second in the world.

Joe Bromham

Return to Beijing Bound

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