Australia's BMX team unlucky in Beijing

Latvian Maris Strombergs won gold with Americans Mike Day and Donny Robinson taking silver and...

Latvian Maris Strombergs won gold with Americans Mike Day and Donny Robinson taking silver and bronze in the men's BMX final. In the women's event Anne-Caroline Chausson of France was outstanding all day to claim the gold with her compatriot Laetitia le Corguille second and American Jill Kintner third.

Medal chances of Australians Jared Graves and Nicole Callisto ended with bad luck in their respective finals due to crashes. Graves had a slow start but passed everyone before the first turn to lead the final. Disaster struck on the second corner when American Donny Robinson clipped South African Sifiso Nhlapo, who crashed and took down Frenchman Damien Godet and Graves in the process.

A bruised and battered Graves limped over the line for sixth place. "I've got a pretty bad cork over the top of my thigh which is giving me a bit of curry right now and I'm sure I'll be pretty sore tomorrow," said a disappointed Graves whose rear tyre punctured in the pile up. "I didn't get the best start but put myself in a good position in the first corner.

"I was just leaning into the second corner in behind Maris (Strombergs) and I got hit from behind and was on my head before I knew it," said Graves. "It's pretty frustrating when it's out of your control but that's racing.

"I gave it the best go I could and didn't leave anything behind so I'm happy with that but would have liked a medal."

Graves, the world number two, qualified easily for the final claiming second, fifth and third in his three semi-final runs and drawing gate three on the final starting ramp.

Team-mate Kamakazi missed the final after a mixed performance in the semi finals. "I definitely wasn't on fire like I was the other day, but I got out there and gave it a ... no regrets [performance]," said Kamakazi. "This whole experience has been right up there in the clouds for me and this has been the biggest day of my life and if I can get another chance at this I'll be there (London 2012)."

In the women's competition Callisto lost her chance of a medal when she crashed on the first corner.

"I slid out on the first turn and I just sort of sat there and a few tears ran down my face... it was a race that could change your life," said the 20 year-old who says she'll now aim for 2012 in London. "This Olympics has been a big learning experience and I still have a lot to learn but I'm really looking forward to it."

She wasn't the only one to hit the dirt with pre-race favourite and reigning World Champion Shanaze Reade of Great Britain losing it on the final turn into the home straight to finish last. Anne-Caroline Chausson of France was outstanding all day to claim the gold with her compatriot Laetitia le Corguille second and American Jill Kintner third.

Australia's other starter Tanya Bailey also missed the final. She was relegated to last place in her first run and crashed in her second.

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