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Australian world champion Sam Willoughby has added a silver Olympic medal to his impressive CV with a strong ride in the final today.
Willoughby, 20, was the fastest rider through the semi-final heats, but lowered his colors to Beijing gold medallist Maris Strombergs in the ride-off for gold.
Strombergs won in the slick time of 37.576sec. for the 450m on the open-air Olympic Park track, with Willoughby coming in 0.353sec. behind him.
In the women’s event, Caroline Buchanan’s Olympic dream ended in tears when she finished fifth in the final after posting the fastest in the semi-finals today.
Buchanan was distraught at her performance behind Colombia’s Marion Pajon, who won the gold medal in a time of 37.706sec. for the 430m.
“Right now, it’s like a bit of a nightmare, I just want to get out of here,” a distraught Buchanan said immediately after her ride.
“I was riding so good today. This is the best I ever rode in my life. I prepared well, I did every little one percenter leading into this race, I’d beaten Shanaze (Reade of Great Britain), who I knew was going to be one of the strongest competitors here in the motos.
“I had everything in my favour and I don’t know if it was the pressure of the gate, but once I got back in the field I couldn’t come back.”