BMX star Willoughby was a favourite to win a medal for Australia in London 2012 and he was confident before his race.
Willoughby, already the senior world BMX champion, said it had been a battle to make the last 16 after finishing third in his heat but said yesterday he was feeling positive.
“A couple of mistakes early kind of cost me, but I’m still pretty safe so I’ll keep the energy for tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s a good little learning curve for me and I’ll be better for it.”
Gold in the Olympic final was taken by Latvia’s Maris Strombergs while Colombian Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala claimed bronze.
It was a manic day for BMX with the London 2012 finals taking place hot on the tail of the semi-finals. Happily though, there was no repeat of the BMX crash Willoughby and others were caught up in yesterday.
Willoughby’s female counterpart, Aussie BMX rider Caroline Buchanan also progressed to the final but failed to medal. The country’s other hopes, Khalen Young and Lauren Reynolds were both knocked out in the heats.