CO rid­ers take on world

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Char­lie Leyser has come a long way in eight months af­ter his first taste of rac­ing on a BMX track. On Thurs­day, he will be on a flight to the United States to com­pete in the 2017 BMX World Cham­pi­onships.

The 7-year-old Cromwell rider will race with over 3000 com­peti­tors, in­clud­ing Alexan­dra rider Holly Old­ham, 14, rep­re­sent­ing over 40 coun­tries in swel­ter­ing South Carolina sum­mer heat.

Char­lie doesn’t get flus­tered on the BMX track and he in­tends to take the con­fi­dence with him at the start gates.

‘‘I try hard and I like to win.’’ His fa­ther Pierre Leyser said Char­lie had only raced in two com­pe­ti­tions. To qual­ify for the worlds was ‘‘un­be­liev­able’’ and Char­lie had been train­ing hard to pre­pare, Leyser said.

‘‘He is ex­cited; that is why I was keen to let him go. He has got the last 10 per cent and doesn’t get flus­tered or show any nerves.‘‘

Also train­ing hard was Alexan­dra rider Holly Old­ham, 14, who is ranked New Zealand num­ber one in her age group.

Her mother Ca­role Gil­lions said Holly was feel­ing anx­ious, but was ‘‘as pre­pared as she can be’’.

‘‘Un­til you get on the gate with the rest of the com­peti­tors - it is where your brain is at on the day at their age. She has got ev­ery pos­si­bil­ity and her aim is to make the fi­nals.’’

RHYS CHAMBERLAIN

Char­lie Leyser, 7, of Cromwell and Holly Old­ham, 14, of Alexan­dra.

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