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BMX: US and Britain look set for gold
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As BMX (Bicycle Motocross) makes its debut on Olympics on the Laoshan course on Wednesday, American riders and British Shanaze Reade look set to win gold of the Olympic newcomer.

Since BMX is an American invention that dates back almost 40 years ago to Southern California, the American male riders dominated the race until now.

Having proven themselves in world championships and Beijing World Cup on the Olympic course last year, Donny Robinson, Kyle Bennett and Mike Day all possess the ability to win the gold in men's part.

However, for each of them, entering into the Olympic finals is a little complicated. Racers will first need to advance through preliminaries: Beginning with four, eight-man quarterfinal rounds for the 32-rider men's field, and two eight-woman semifinal rounds for the 16-rider women's competition.

Following preliminary heats, the Olympic finals for men and women all come down to a single race.

When the metal gate drops at the top of the 26-foot start hill, eight racers will zoom down onto the course.

As for the women's edition, with two world titles from each in the past two years, the new-crowned world champion Shanaze Reade of Britain is the favorite to stand on the middle of the podium.

Rich with eight European junior titles, Reade's BMX talents went global when she won a world under-18 crown at the age of 15. She defended her senior world title from 2007 with almost consummate ease in 2008 world championship in China just two month ago.

"My main ambition is to win the Olympic Games," Reade said.

World No. one Sarah Walker of New Zealand will pose some challenge to the Briton, and armed with an ice-cool attitude, the 19-year old girl is remarkably pragmatic, of which Reade should be aware.

"I do not want to say I am going to win, I just want to do the best I can because I know that will mean a good result," she said, "It does not seem real so I am not that nervous. I am looking forward to it."

BMX originated in the state of California, United States in the early 1970s, by teenagers imitating their motocross heroes on their bicycles. In 2003, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made BMX part of the competition program of the 2008 Olympic Games.

The Olympic BMX will take place on August 20-21.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2008)

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