Bodi turns the corner

11 December 2015

BMX: Despite years of dedication to the sport he loves and plenty of positive domestic results to his name, Bodi Turner was still unsure if he was ever going to be able to match it with the world’s best.

Turner wasn’t ready to give up though. He continued to train the house down, progress steadily and hoped the results would follow.

His hard work eventually paid off at the second leg of the 2015 World Cup series in Angelholm, Sweden.

Lining up against a star-studded field Turner was strong out of the gates, rounded up 20 15 World Champion Niek Kimmann down the penultimate straight before holding off Australian Olympic silver medallist Sam Willoughby to grab his first major podium result.

“With the second place in Sweden everything went well and after I finished it was a huge weight off my shoulders,” the 21-year-old said. “I’d felt like that I’d accomplished so much and since then my confidence has been so high it’s incredible.

 “2015 has been my greatest year so far and was a good step forward heading into the Olympics next year.

 “I got a podium at a World Cup event, proved I could make finals and most of all beat that mindset that I wasn’t good enough or not as strong as other competitors. Now I believe that I am as strong as them and that I can beat them and I’m going to need that going into the Olympics.”

With a strong belief and proven results Turner is now daring to dream as to what it would be like to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

“It would be incredible - I think about it every day.

“Just to wear the green and gold and be one of the 3,500 athletes that will have competed for Australia at an Olympic Games would be incredible. 

“I believe in my ability and I believe I can medal in Rio. I just have to bring that belief on the day.” 

Earlier in 2015, alongside fellow Aussie Lauren Reynolds, Turner headed to the city set to host the first South American Games earlier in the year to get a feel for the course.

“We went to Rio in October for the test event and the track was insane, they took it to another level.

“We gave them some constructive feedback because we thought it was a little too crazy but it’s the Olympics and it’s only once every four years and we have to accept whatever is going to come at us.

“I thought the track was incredible and I’m keen to have another go on it next year.”

After a short break over Christmas the next step for Bodi on the road to Rio begins on home shores.

The national series kicks off in Nerang on 1 January before the real action heats up when the world’s best collide on the international circuit.

“The months leading into (Rio) are flat out firstly with the national series and then I’m off to America. From there we start the World Cup in South America then over to England and Europe.

“We’ll then probably be based over in the US because it is closer to the time zone and it is summer so we hopefully can avoid being sick.”

Being based in the US will also ensure Turner and his Australian teammates are in close proximity to a purpose-built Rio 2016 replica course.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get out to San Diego and train on that track.

“I’ve been on it a few times and it’s very much like Rio. It will certainly help us getting used to the big jumps.”

Australia is hoping to qualify the full complement of three men and two women BMX athletes for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Turner, alongside the likes of Willoughby and World Championship finalist Anthony Dean, will need to keep Australia amongst the top four nations on the UCI rankings (currently second) if there are to be three Aussie men in Rio.

These rankings will be finalised at the end of May following the World Championships in Colombia with selections expected soon after.

Matt Bartolo
Olympics.com.au

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