American Connor Fields dropped his bike to the ground just past the finish line and screamed. He had done it.
Fields won the gold medal in a thrilling final of the BMX competition on Friday afternoon in the Rio Olympics. Jelle van Gorkom of Netherlands took silver, while Colombia’s Carlos Ramirez Yepes took bronze, beating out American Nic Long by just .005 seconds.
There was some confusion regarding third place in the race. Long was originally put on the scoreboard as tying Ramirez Yepez for the bronze. After video replay, however, organizers determined that he had finished just behind Ramirez Yepes.
For Fields, the win was his from the outset. He broke quickly out of the gate, and after the first turn, he and Long were out ahead, both of their blue USA jerseys leading a pack of hard-pedaling cyclists.
“I just focused on the moment, I looked at that first turn,” he said. “I had a great start, I saw clear air on the first straightaway, and going into the first turn, I tried to get over to the inside, when I saw somebody else. … I looked over quickly to assess the situation and saw that it was Nic.”
It was the exact start Fields wanted after a somewhat uneven semifinal performance. Fields took second in the first two heats of the semis, then placed sixth in a third heat in which he nearly wrecked when he got tangled up with another rider.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Nate Scott