Alexa

Olympic BMX races rained off

Olympic BMX races rained off

The men's and women's Olympic BMX semifinals and finals were rained out Thursday, giving top-ranked men's BMX rider Kyle Bennett of the U.S. an extra day to rest his injured shoulder, which might be enough time to get him ready for medal races.
The three-time world champion, who dislocated his left shoulder in a crash during a quarterfinal heat, now has an additional 24 hours to recover, something he desperately needed.
Rain began falling at the track overnight and didn't stop, prompting event officials to push the schedule back to Friday.
"I'm letting my left arm just kind of chill," Bennett said from the athletes' village. "The day off would probably do me good right now. But I'm still going to have a crack at it. Hopefully the adrenalin will kick in tomorrow and I won't be able to feel it."
Some teams had already arrived when the postponement of the first-ever Olympic BMX medal races was announced. The decision was made "in consideration of the fairness of the competition," said a statement from the event organizers.
Bennett fell on Wednesday after Dutch racer Raymon van der Biezen lost control exiting the first turn and tumbled to the asphalt in the last of his three quarterfinal races. Bennett ran over van der Biezen's bike, fell awkwardly and remained on the track for several minutes, as medics rushed to his side. A U.S. doctor popped the shoulder back into place.
Despite the crash, Bennett had enough points from the first two heats to advance.
Mike Day of the United States won the time trial and all three of his quarterfinal heats Thursday. He, Bennett and Donny Robinson all qualified for the semifinals, making the U.S. the only nation with three men in the round of 16. All three will be racing in the same round of semifinals.
World champion Maris Strombergs of Latvia is also through to the semifinals.
Favorites Shanaze Reade of Britain, Anne-Caroline Chausson of France and Sarah Walker of New Zealand all qualified well for the women's semis.
Rain was forecast for much of Thursday, and some forecasts suggested that the skies won't exactly be clear in time for the rescheduled races, either.
The course was covered by several tarps, and puddles collected in the banked asphalt turns, which weren't protected.
"It'll definitely be a different course," Robinson said. "It'll be different, more difficult to hit those faster lines because there's going to be those soft spots and if you hit them they can throw you."
Officials later moved Friday's women's mountain bike race to Saturday morning because of the rain on the course. The men's race will be held Saturday afternoon as originally scheduled.


Updated : 2020-12-06 06:24 GMT+08:00