A pair of BMX racing brothers from Fareham have set their sights on Olympic glory – despite both being under the age of 10.
Ethan and Lucas Craik competed in last weekend’s BMX World Championships in Birmingham, where they went head to head with the world’s top young riders from 40 countries.
And nine-year-old Ethan stormed through seven races to take a superb second place overall.
The British and southern region champion was up against a total of 78 riders in his age group, and narrowly lost out only to New Zealand’s Rico Bearman in the final.
Younger brother Lucas, who is also southern region champ and runner-up at last year’s nationals, unfortunately had less luck.
The seven-year-old saw his hopes of glory ended when an American rider crashed in front of him and brought him down in his fourth race.
However, Lucas picked himself up to cheer his brother on to the podium in the final.
Mum Hazel said: ‘Ethan competed at the worlds in Copenhagen last year in his first big international competition, where he came sixth.
‘He was hoping to do better this time but didn’t expect to come second – it’s a fantastic achievement.
‘Poor Lucas got knocked out but still came away with a huge smile on his face. He was just a victim of someone crashing right in front of him and having nowhere to go.
‘We were so gutted for him but we was a little superstar. He said “It’s just one of those things, I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now”.
‘They did their sponsors (Free Agent and FTB), Gosport BMX Club and my husband and I so proud – but most of all they did themselves proud.’
Despite their tender years, the pair are rapidly becoming veterans in the sport, having first hit the track four years ago.
They both showed an immediate natural ability for the sport and haven’t looked back since.
‘They love riding and really enjoy the sport. All they want to do is ride,’ added Hazel.
‘They are always pestering poor old dad to take them down to the track at Gosport to practise.
‘Ethan was five and Lucas three when we first took them to the track.
‘Neither of them have ever needed stabilisers and the people who run the club quickly saw their potential and encouraged us to put them into races.
‘They’re not competitive yet with one another, although I suspect they might be in a few years!
‘They support each other and Ethan was gutted for his brother at the worlds, while Lucas cheered Ethan on in the final.’
The boys are now turning their attentions to the British Championships in September, and the Southern Championships to be held at Gosport BMX Club in October.
Next year’s worlds in New Zealand are also on the agenda – provided enough financial support for the talented siblings can be found – but there remains one longer-term ambition.
‘The Olympics are their real dream. That’s where they want to be,’ said Hazel.
‘They were both watching the elite men at the worlds very closely to see how they prepare and race – that is what they want to be and where they want to end up.’