LIBBY Smith confirmed her place as one of the world’s best young BMX riders after a gutsy display in New Zealand.

The 12-year-old has returned from the UCI World Championships ranked seventh in the world after achieving her aim of making the final of her age section.

Smith, who is also the British number one after winning the national series, came up against the best competitors in the world but did not look out of place.

The Redditch resident booked her place in the competition’s later stages with finishes of fifth, fourth and third in the qualifying heats.

Fourth places in the quarter and semi-finals ensured she qualified for the final where she finished seventh.

But the St Bede’s pupil was delighted with her efforts, improving on the 15th she came in the previous World Championships in Birmingham after she had crashed out at the penultimate stage.

Smith and her family raised held a fund-raising campaign in order to ensure she could represent Great Britain in Auckland.

Father Scott Smith said: “Libby was really pleased with her performance, her target was always to reach the final.

“It’s been an incredible journey and the atmosphere at the championships was electric.”

Smith’s coach, Ireland’s Kelvin Batey, won the masters section and the gifted young rider was also at the finishing line to watch Liam Phillips become the first British World Champion in 12-years when he clinched victory in the elite final.

The Redditch youngster got to meet Phillips, whose success has helped to catapult BMX-ing into the national headlines.

“It was so inspiring for Libby to see Liam do well. He’s helping raise the profile of the sport,” added her dad.

Libby was also a celebrity at the weekend when she competed in the National Series rounds in Gosport and was also interviewed by Sky Sports.