Shanaze Reade 2008

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Beijing awoke to heavy rain this morning, and as the weather gradually deteriorated even further, the organisers of the Olympic Games decided to postpone the BMX competition.

Both the men?s and women?s semi-finals and finals were due to be held between 9am and 11am this morning, but the rain put and end to that. The water makes the steep wooden start ramp too slippery and the course itself too slow for the riders to safely clear the numerous jumps, meaning the covers were brought out and the action put back to Friday.

Great Britain?s Shanaze Reade yesterday qualified second fastest in the women?s event behind former downhill and four-cross world champion Anne-Caroline Chausson of France, while Liam Philips did not make it past yesterday?s qualifying rounds.

Reade is the current world champion, a title she won on this course in Laoshan earlier in the year, and the event was always likely to be a two-way tussle between her and the Frenchwoman. With the Games finishing on Sunday, if the weather does not improve enough to allow the event to be completed, medals will be awarded on qualification positions, meaning a silver for Reade.

Update Chinese TV is reporting that tomorrow [Friday] the weather should be good in Beijing, allowing the BMX - cancelled today - finally to go ahead. The women?s MTB race (in which GB has nobody competing) has now been postponed to Saturday and will take place before the men?s race, which remains in its scheduled slot.

BMX qualifying

1. Anne-Caroline Chausson (FRA) 36.660 seconds

2. Shanaze Reade (GBR) 36.882

3. Laetitia le Corguille (FRA) 37.145

4. Sarah Walker (NZL) 37.187

5. Gabriela Diaz (ARG) 37.590

6. Nicole Callisto (AUS) 37.717

7. Jill Kintner (USA) 37.913

8. Jana Horakova (CZE) 38.077

9. Jenny Fahndrich (SUI) 38.209

10. Tanya Bailey (AUS) 38.285

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