Courage tested at world BMX titles
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
HARBOUR City BMX Club pair Krystal Cranfield and Ryan Young are at opposite ends of their careers, but both face crucial tests of strength and courage at this month's World Championships in Paris.
For Cranfield, 19, the event is a crucial part of her build-up to a possible 2008 Beijing Olympic Games berth while Young, 8, is looking for a spot in the final he missed in last year's championships in Perth.
Cranfield is the first to jet out, departing Brisbane on Friday and linking with Australia's high performance riders who will attend a week-long training camp in Switzerland before returning to France for the championships.
The only elite female rider in the group, Cranfield said she was looking forward to renewing her rivalry with Kim Hayashi of the US and Canadian Samantha Cools with whom she has competed at several world championships.
Although accustomed to such world-class showdowns, Cranfield said the 2005 championships were the most important she had tackled, with Australian Olympic Games selectors in Paris to gauge the form of 2008 Games prospects.
The championships will give Young the opportunity to put aside a fall in last year's quarter-finals which robbed him of any chance to line up in the final.
Young's mother Di said the decision to send her son overseas to compete, accompanied by his father Ron, was not taken lightly but the youngster had his heart set on atoning for last year's setback.
'Last year he finished fifth in the pre-titles and many there felt he would've made the finals (but for the fall),' Di said.
She said her son had stayed remarkably calm ahead of his flight to France on July 24.
'Now that everyone's wishing him all the best it's all starting to sink in,' she said.
The championships will be contested from July 29 to 31.