Luke Brooke-Smith continues to rise in the world of BMX after a brave performance at the 2017 BMX World Championships.
Competing in the 9-year-old boys' division, Whangarei's Brooke-Smith finished sixth out of 110 racers.
Twenty five different countries were represented at the pinnacle BMX racing event with 3700 riders attending the Championships at Rock Hill, South Carolina. This was the biggest running of the event ever.
What made Brooke-Smith's performance more impressive was the fact he was in a cast with a broken ankle just nine weeks out from the biggest event of his young life.
Brooke-Smith's mum Clare said the signs were not good before the trip.
"He broke two bones in his ankle and was put into a full-leg cast," she said.
"We weren't even sure he would be walking properly by now but he was completely adamant he would race at the worlds."
The final didn't get off to the best start for the youngster as he hit the gate at the start line which put him at an immediate advantage.
To his credit, he showed tactical nous and grit to manoeuvre his way through the field to take sixth place.
Brooke-Smith is continuing to show improvement at the highest level as he improved on his performance at last year's World Championships.
He finished seventh in the 8-year-old division in Medellin, Colombia last year.
Brooke-Smith said it wasn't just the competition and racing that he loved about the World Championships.
"One of the best things about worlds is meeting new people and seeing my friends from all over the world," he said.
"I can't wait to race for New Zealand again next year in Azerbaijan."
The 2018 UCI BMX World Championships will be going to Baku in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
This has continued a stellar year for the BMX prodigy after completing a hattrick of national BMX titles earlier this year.
He took top spot at the 2017 BMX Nationals in Te Awamutu amidst poor conditions due to a major storm.
Brooke-Smith won his first nationals aged 6 in Christchurch in his first tilt at the title.
He attended his first World Championships that year in Belgium but crashed out.