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Alise Willoughby wins third BMX world title and qualifies for fourth Olympics

<i>David Jensen/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Willoughby crosses the line ahead of Claessens.
David Jensen/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Willoughby crosses the line ahead of Claessens.

By George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) — Alise Willoughby won her third BMX racing world championship title on Saturday, securing qualification for her fourth Olympics in Paris later this year.

The 33-year-old led from the start of the race in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and crossed the line ahead of Switzerland’s Zoe Claessens in second and fellow American Daleny Vaughn in third.

Willoughby, who won her first world title in Rock Hill seven years ago, will look to add to the silver medal she won at the Rio Olympics at this year’s Games after two crashes derailed her chances of getting on the podium in Tokyo.

She will be joined by Vaughn on the US team with the final spots announced later this month.

“It is such an honor to deliver on the day,” Willoughby said after her victory, per USA Cycling. “When you dream of it, when you hope for it, but doing it is a whole other thing. This feeling is so special.

“My family, my friends, fans, husband, coaches, staff, that have been here for this very long ride that continues. I’m just so proud to say that I’m still rising to potential.”

In the men’s competition, French rider Joris Daudet won his third world title ahead of the Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann and compatriot Sylvain Andre.

Daudet is hoping to win a first Olympic medal on home soil this year having suffered a broken collarbone in a crash in February.

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