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Hannah Roberts wins third consecutive BMX freestyle world title

Hannah Roberts

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 28: Hannah Roberts of Team USA rides during a training session for the Cycling BMX Freestyle at Ariake Urban Sports Park ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Olympic silver medalist Hannah Roberts earned a third consecutive world title in BMX freestyle, the cycling discipline that debuted at the Tokyo Games.

Roberts, a 21-year-old American, crashed trying to throw a front flip and injured her back on her first of two runs in Sunday’s final in Abu Dhabi, according to USA Cycling.

The biggest setback of Roberts’ career was a broken back in 2012 when she fell off a six-foot ramp and fractured her T4 vertebra.

Roberts rallied in the second run, scoring 87.20 points on what she called her “backup run,” according to USA Cycling, to jump from 11th place in the 12-rider field to three-peat as world champion.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Worthington, who upset Roberts for Olympic gold, was fifth. Americans Perris Benegas and Angie Marino were seventh and ninth.

Japan’s Rim Nakamura won the men’s title with 93.80 points on his first run. U.S. Olympian Justin Dowell took silver with a 91.50-point first run.

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