Merel Smulders won the bronze medal at the BMX World Championships in Nantes on Sunday afternoon. The Dutch saw the victory go to the American Felicia Stancil. She narrowly defeated the Swiss Inès Claessens.

    Laura Smulders, the older sister of Merel Smulders, and Manon Veenstra also qualified for the final, but were unable to compete for the medals.

    World Cup leader Laura Smulders had to settle for seventh place, Veenstra crossed the finish line as number six.

    Merel Smulders also took bronze at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year. In Nantes she was put behind early on by Stancil and Claessens. The 24-year-old Dutchman had a strong finish, but still fell short to participate in the battle for gold.

    Defending champion and Olympic champion Bethany Shrever from Great Britain did not make it through the semifinals.

    No Dutch success with the men

    In the men’s race, Niek Kimmann was eliminated in the semi-final. The Olympic champion and defending champion did not go further than seventh place in his heat, where a place in the first four was required. Kimmann got off to a great start, but then quickly fell back.

    Mitchel Schotman was stuck in the quarterfinals earlier on Sunday due to a crash. Earlier this weekend the curtain fell for Jay Schippers and Dave van der Burg.

    The gold in the men was a prey for the Swiss Simon Marquart, who trumped the Briton Kye Whyte and the Frenchman Joris Daudet.