Kai Sakakibara and Leanna Curtis crowned 2017 Oceania BMX Champions
Australian’s Kai Sakakibara and Leanna Curtis were crowned elite Oceania Champions at the 2017 Oceania BMX Championships in Bathurst, Saturday March 4.
20-year old Kai Sakakibara was too strong in the elite men’s event taking gold in an Australian 1-2-3 ahead of Matthew Juster and Aaron Nottle.
“My first win in the elite class, I am really excited! This is huge for me, Sakakibara said.
“I guess it’s the same for every athlete stepping into that open stage of racing, getting that first win is the hardest thing to do. It has taken me almost two and a half years. I am very happy to finally get it.”
In the elite women’s event reigning Australian Champion Leanna Curtis, took the title having finished fifth in 2016. New Zealand’s Rebecca Petch claimed the silver medal with Rachel Jones (Australia) completing the podium.
“It was good to finally get that win out of the way, I am really hurting now,” said an elated Curtis.
“I had a pretty ordinary start, but luckily I feel very confident on this track and I was able to come through.”
It was a fantastic weekend for the Sakakibara family as Saya Sakakibara, the younger sister of Kai stormed to the junior women’s title. Australia swept the podium with Sara Jones and Jenna Williams taking silver and bronze.
New Zealand’s Maynard Peel claimed the junior men’s title beating Australia’s Kyle Green and Izaac Kennedy for the top spot on the podium.
2017 Oceania BMX Championship Medallists
Gold – Kai SAKAKIBARA (AUS)
Silver – Matthew JUSTER (AUS)
Bronze – Aaron NOTTLE (AUS)
Gold – Leanna CURTIS (AUS)
Silver – Rebecca PETCH (NZL)
Bronze – Rachel JONES (AUS)
Gold – Maynard PEEL (NZL)
Silver – Kyle GREEN (AUS)
Bronze – Izaac KENNEDY (AUS)
Gold – Saya SAKAKIBARA (AUS)
Silver – Sara JONES (AUS)
Bronze – Jenna WILLIAMS (AUS)