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Rio Olympics: Connor Fields wins men’s BMX gold for Team USA

Connor Fields of the United States celebrates after

Connor Fields of the United States celebrates after winning the gold medal during the Men's BMX Final on day 14 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic BMX Centre on Aug. 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Credit: Getty Images / Ryan Pierse

RIO DE JANEIRO — The United States has ended its gold medal drought in BMX cycling after Connor Fields took the men’s final.

Fields won with a time of 34.622 seconds, beating the Netherlands’ Jelle van Gorkom by .684 seconds. It’s the first time that Team USA has won BMX since the American-born action sport became an Olympic medal event in 2008. The United States also returned to the podium after getting shut out in 2012 in London.

There was a photo finish for third, with Carlos Ramirez Yepes of Colombia just edging out the United States’ Nic Long for the bronze.

On the women’s side, Colombia’s Mariana Pajon successful defended her gold medal. The fan favorite in Rio raced to the front early and completed the nearly quarter mile-long course filled with bumps and twists in 34.093 seconds, .342 seconds faster than silver medalist Alise Post of the United States.

Stefany Hernandez of Venezuela won the bronze. France’s Manon Valentino was taken off a stretcher after crossing the finish line, appearing to favor her left side.

New York Sports