Reade bounces back from early BMX fall

Olympic gold medal favourite Shanaze Reade survived an injury scare in her first seeding race for the semi-finals of tomorrow's BMX.

The 19-year-old, a two-time world champion, crashed on the first bend of the first run through the track at Laoshan in south west Beijing.

She scraped her elbow and thigh and looked to be holding her wrist as she came off the course.

However, the Crewe rider was examined by the team doctor and showed no ill-effects as she came through her second seeding run.

She did appear to take a cautious turn through the bend which had caught her out but still produced the second quickest time overall - 36.882 seconds.

She was then ranked on her best time so there was no loss for the fall.

And Reade - who won the test event here last summer - dismissed suggestions of a fear factor.

"Never be afraid, never be afraid," said Reade.

"I'm excited - it's mine."

Her coach, Australian Grant White had no worries about her morale.

He said: "After about 10-15 minutes she was fine - she's so strong mentally.

"She was back laughing and her second lap was solid."

The seeding runs are used to keep the fastest riders apart until the semi-finals.

Consequently, Reade will go in the second heat while world number one Sarah Walker of New Zealand - who was 0.222secs quicker - will go in the first.

Walker was coached by White until he was persuaded to join the British Cycling team to look after Reade, who has been marked out as a gold medal contender for at least two years before she graduated from the junior ranks.

World number three Laetitia le Corguille of France is in Reade's heat but her best effort over the snaking 350 metres course was 0.263 seconds slower than Reade's best.

By contrast, the prospects for Great Britain's entry in the men's event, Liam Phillips, did not look good.

He was 28th of 32 competitors in his seeding run with a best time which was just over a half as second slower than Reade's.

Reade admitted there was no real explanation for her fall, but it has done little to dampen her enthusiasm ahead of tomorrow's semi-final.

"Mentally I was prepared, but then I did it and I washed out," she said. "I don't know why I fell. We looked at the video, it's just one of those things, that's BMX.

"It didn't affect me. I'm hurt a little bit now, but I'm also excited."

As well as failing to make the semi-final, Phillips' misery was compounded when he suffered a dislocated shoulder in his final quarter-final.

Despite briefly coming off his bike, he was able to finish the race in seventh but that, coupled with his earlier fifth and sixth places was not enough - and he was bitterly disappointed.

"I'm absolutely gutted," he said. "I felt it had gone as I changed my position. I was in a good points position up to then. If I had just stayed on the bike I would have been ok.

"I came here to get as much experience as possible for 2012 and I feel as though have achieved that."