The West

Games snub bemuses BMX champion
Australian BMX rider Lauren Reynolds poses during a portrait session on May 16, 2014. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

As hundreds of Australian athletes gear up to represent their country at this year's Commonwealth Games, WA BMX champion Lauren Reynolds can't help but wonder why she's not heading to Glasgow with them.

The London Olympian and silver medallist at last year's BMX world championships has seen her sport grow by leaps and bounds since being added to the Olympics schedule in Beijing in 2008.

But despite its success, BMX has been overlooked by the Commonwealth Games Federation both for this year's event starting in July and for the Gold Coast Games in 2018. "I just can't understand why," she said. "Our sport is so unique and it's real thrilling. It's short and sharp, it's high intensity, it's action packed, why wouldn't you want to have it?

"Our sport grew so much just from London and even Beijing.

"Having a Commonwealth Games would have opened up the door for more people to showcase our sport."

With no Commonwealth Games on the horizon, the 22-year-old Bunbury rider has shifted her focus to the Rio Olympic Games.

The BMX qualification period for the 2016 Games begins today.

For Reynolds, the first step on that long journey will be a return to the world cup circuit in Berlin next month, then the BMX world championships in Auckland in July.

The West Australian

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