Chausson, Strombergs grab first BMX golds  

   

BMX

If sporting traditionalists turned their noses up at BMX’s inclusion in the Olympic Games in Beijing, they were soon convinced of its merits after an action-packed, exhilarating competition at the Laoshan Moto Cross circuit.

The discipline proved itself to be one of the most popular in Beijing as blistering pace, combative racing and spectacular leaps combined to produce a terrific spectacle.Up for grabs were gold medals in the men’s and women’s races, conducted over preliminary, semi-final and final rounds.

The red-hot favourite going into the event was world champion Shanaze Reade of Great Britain. Reade’s chances looked doomed after she crashed in the first of three runs in the semi-final, when qualification is based on points for finishing positions. However she turned it round and reached the final when she finished second and first in the closing semi-final runs. Now it was down to one, decisive run which would decide the medals.

Although Reade was favourite, French mountain bike and BMX legend Anne-Caroline Chausson was proving her decision to come out of retirement to try and win an Olympic gold was justified.
The multiple mountain bike world champion executed a stunning pass after Reade had burst into the lead, and in trying to make up ground the Briton crashed spectacularly. Chausson held her nerve and the inaugural gold was hers with fellow Frenchwoman Laetitia Le Corguille in silver.

The men’s event developed into a three-way battle between the Americans Mike Day and Donny Robinson, and the Latvian cyclist Maris Strombergs. A stunning three wins in his semi-final gave Strombergs the crucial opening barrier at the start gate and he was to use it to its full advantage. Strombergs burst clear and hard as Day and Robinson tried, they could not reel him in and the Latvian secured his country’s opening gold of the Beijing Olympic Games.

 
   

43 Highlights

  • Opening Ceremony
  • Katerina Emmons - women’s 10m air rifle
  • Salukvadze, Pederina praised for gesture
  • Dutch end long wait for relay gold
  • Korean archery domination continues
  • Aussies edge Americans in scintillating relay
  • India's first individual gold medal
  • Coughlin again thwarts fast-finishing Coventry
  • Benjamin Boukpeti
  • Rice hits golden hat-trick in 4x200m relay
  • Phelps rewrites Olympic record books
  • China wins maiden team gymnastics gold
  • Steffen completes comeback with golden double
  • Andrunache emerges from Ignat’s shadow
  • The oldest winner of the women’s table tennis singles
  • Lightning Bolt electrifies Bird’s Nest
  • Roger Federer
  • British foursome continue Redgrave’s legacy
  • Zagunis leads U.S. clean sweep in sabre
  • Guo glitters in Water Cube
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Fraser leads unique Jamaican treble
  • Rebecca Romero
  • Reborn Taylor takes second hurdles title
  • Incredible Lezak puts Phelps on road to eight golds
  • Hoy joins cycling greats
  • Liukin follows in father’s footsteps
  • Jones heartbreak evokes Devers as Harper takes gold
  • IOC’s helping hand guides Nikpai to bronze
  • Bolt overcomes Johnson’s legendary 200m mark
  • Japan rock U.S. with softball win
  • Chausson, Strombergs grab first BMX golds
  • Campbell-Brown retains 200m crown
  • Steve Hooker
  • Jamaican foursome break world record
  • Perfect Walsh, May-Treanor star on the sand
  • Hellebaut raises the bar in battle with Vlasic
  • Korea ends baseball’s Olympic era with Cuban upset
  • Hungary secure stunning water polo hat-trick
  • Party atmosphere as curtain drawn on Beijing
  • Kanayeva waltzes to rhythmic gold
  • Mighty France thwart giantkillers Iceland
  • US restores basketball pride