| Event type

BMX, Women

Date8 – 10 August 2012
LocationBMX Track, London Velopark, Olympic Park, Stratford, London
Participants16 from 12 countries

The defending Olympic champion in the women’s BMX race, Anne-Caroline Chausson of France, had come out of a 2005 retirement with the intention of competing at the 2008 Games, when the event was at the Olympics held for the first time. She had no interest in defending her title in 2012 and passed the torch onto her teammate Laëtitia Le Corguillé, the silver medalist in Beijing. Le Corguillé was certainly favored, as was her compatriot Magalie Pottier, the reigning World Champion. The nation, however, faced stiff competition in defending the crown. Among the challengers were Australia’s Caroline Buchanan, ranked #1 in the world, Mariana Pajón, a fantastic rider from Colombia who was the 2011 World and Pan-American Games champion, and Sarah Walker of New Zealand, the 2009 World Champion and runner-up in 2010 and 2011. Shanaze Reade, the hometown favorite and World Champion in 2007, 2008, and 2010, was seeking to redeem herself from the 2008 Olympics when, in podium position during the final, she clipped Chausson’s wheel and crashed, placing her out of contention.

In the seeding run, Buchanan, Walker, and Pajón posted the three fastest times and held the advantage going into the semi-finals, where Pajón dominated her heat by winning all three of the races, just in front of Pottier every time. Buchanan and Reade were a class above the rest in their heat, placing in either first or second in every race. In the final Pajón continued her dominance and was never seriously challenged for the title, beginning with a terrific start and never relenting. Walker, who had been underperforming during in the semi-finals, took advantage of a great start and gave it her all, finishing in the silver medal position. The surprise bronze medal winner was the unheralded Laura Smulders of the Netherlands, who had never won a major international BMX medal. Buchanan and Reade, meanwhile, suffered from poor starts and placed fifth and sixth respectively. Pajón’s gold medal was the second ever for Colombia at the Olympics, after María Isabel Urrutia, who won the heavyweight division of women’s weightlifting at the 2000 Summer Games.

PosNrCyclistNOCRoundRankPointsLast Run Time
15Mariana PajónCOLFinal1Gold
296Sarah WalkerNZLFinal2Silver
3110Laura SmuldersNEDFinal3Bronze
422Laëtitia Le CorguilléFRAFinal4
568Caroline BuchananAUSFinal5
612Shanaze ReadeGBRFinal6
71Magalie PottierFRAFinal7
832Brooke CrainUSAFinal8
9469Stefany HernándezVENSemi-Final515
1052Aneta HladíkováCZESemi-Final516
113Romana LabounkováCZESemi-Final617
128Alise PostUSASemi-Final618
13222Vilma RimšaitėLTUSemi-Final71940.400
1425Sandra AleksejevaLATSemi-Final71942.855
1521Lauren ReynoldsAUSSemi-Final819
166Squel SteinBRASemi-Final828

Qualifying Round (8 August 2012 — 15:00)

Classification round - all 16 advanced to semi-finals.

1Caroline BuchananAUS38.434
2Sarah WalkerNZL38.644
3Mariana PajónCOL38.787
4Laëtitia Le CorguilléFRA38.976
5Shanaze ReadeGBR39.368
6Laura SmuldersNED39.420
7Magalie PottierFRA39.778
8Alise PostUSA39.890
9Lauren ReynoldsAUS40.045
10Aneta HladíkováCZE40.846
11Romana LabounkováCZE41.096
12Stefany HernándezVEN41.253
13Sandra AleksejevaLAT41.752
14Vilma RimšaitėLTU42.162
15Squel SteinBRA42.995
ACBrooke CrainUSADNF

Semi-Finals (10 August 2012 — 15:00)

Top four in each heat advance to the final. Each heat comprised three races, with points based on position being awarded for each race. Overall heat positions were determined by total points.

Heat One

PosCyclistNOCPointsRace 1Race 2Race 3
1Caroline BuchananAUS438.276 (1)40.296 (2)38.482 (1)Q
2Shanaze ReadeGBR539.029 (2)38.858 (1)38.634 (2)Q
3Brooke CrainUSA1440.668 (5)41.029 (4)40.102 (5)Q
4Laëtitia Le CorguilléFRA1539.902 (4)1:20.330 (8)38.759 (3)Q
5Stefany HernándezVEN151:12.935 (8)40.513 (3)39.466 (4)
6Alise PostUSA1839.495 (3)51.752 (7)– (AC)
7Sandra AleksejevaLAT1942.030 (7)43.159 (6)42.855 (6)
8Lauren ReynoldsAUS1941.103 (6)41.441 (5)– (AC)

Heat Two

PosCyclistNOCPointsRace 1Race 2Race 3
1Mariana PajónCOL338.759 (1)38.749 (1)38.845 (1)Q
2Magalie PottierFRA639.342 (2)38.828 (2)39.048 (2)Q
3Laura SmuldersNED1139.886 (4)39.180 (3)39.660 (4)Q
4Sarah WalkerNZL1239.905 (5)39.358 (4)39.350 (3)Q
5Aneta HladíkováCZE1639.728 (3)40.391 (6)43.752 (7)
6Romana LabounkováCZE1740.624 (6)39.885 (5)40.777 (6)
7Vilma RimšaitėLTU1941.789 (7)40.895 (7)40.400 (5)
8Squel SteinBRA28– (AC)– (DNS)– (DNS)

Final Round (10 August 2012 — 16:30)

1Mariana PajónCOL37.706
2Sarah WalkerNZL38.133
3Laura SmuldersNED38.231
4Laëtitia Le CorguilléFRA38.476
5Caroline BuchananAUS38.903
6Shanaze ReadeGBR39.247
7Magalie PottierFRA39.395
8Brooke CrainUSA40.286