USA's Alise Willoughby and France's Joris Daudet crowned BMX world champions with Paris 2024 in sight. 'X'@usacycling

USA's Alise Willoughby and France's Joris Daudet both claimed third BMX racing world titles in Rock Hill, South Carolina to earn their country's quota spots at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Rio 2016 silver medallist Willoughby, born Post and married to former Australian rider Sam Willoughby, delighted the home crowd by adding to her previous triumphs at Rock Hill in 2017 and Heusden-Zolder, Belgium in 2019. In the final, the 33-year-old led from the start to take victory from Switzerland's Zoe Claessens and fellow American Daleny Vaughn.

This was Willoughby's sixth BMX racing medal at World Championships, she also has two BMX time trial medals, and put her in pole position to represent the United States in Paris.

Daudet leads the list of men's title contenders ahead of Paris 2024. He is joined by reigning Olympic champion Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands. Daudet will be making his fourth appearance at the Olympics, where he has not been as fortunate as at the World Championships. 

With his latest victory this weekend, he has now won twelve medals in the last 14 years. This is in addition to two gold medals at the European BMX Championships in 2011 and 2017.

At Rock Hill, Daudet carried out his plan and led the race from the first corner. This was the only way to overtake Kimmann: surprise him from the start and make the race tough and challenging. Daudet will be competing in his home country and will be looking to improve on his seventh place finish at Tokyo 2020.

In the race held on American soil, he beat reigning Olympic champion Niek Kimmann of the Netherlands to take the silver medal. The bronze medal went to Frenchman Sylvain André.

The United States hosted the World Championships for the first time in 2023 after missing out on all the major events. The tournament was held mainly in Europe, with visits to Turkey, the Netherlands and France, and only crossed the Atlantic to take place in Argentina.

In 1993, BMX was incorporated into the International Cycling Union, and from there it met the requirements to be accepted by the International Olympic Committee, which made it an Olympic medal sport for the 2008 Beijing Games. In this short time, athletes such as two-time Olympic gold medallist Mariana Pajón from Colombia and the 2020 Olympic and 2021 World Champion Niek Kimmann from the Netherlands have proven their abilities.