Walker second in BMX seeding
Thu, 09 Aug 2012 5:09a.m.
By Alastair Bull
New Zealand rider Sarah Walker is second fastest qualifier for the women's BMX semi-finals at the London Olympics.
Riding fifth, Walker got around the course in an impressive 38.644 seconds, a time which was not bettered until BMX time trial world champion Caroline Buchanan of Australia rode 38.434s.
It gives her a slightly easier path to the Friday's three-run semi-finals, in which she needs to finish in the top four to qualify for the final later that day.
It was an impressive ride given that she hasn't ridden much since a shoulder injury sustained in a crash at a world cup event in April.
"I just focused on getting a smooth lap and getting a strong start. I just focused on doing what I could and put down a good lap," the 24-year-old rider said.
"I'm happy because Shanaze (British rider Shanaze Reade) was before me and I beat her by a lot."
The track included a tunnel which Walker said was quite bizarre.
"You go into it and you're going through the tunnel and you can't see out the other side. It's an easy jump but there's a lot of mental process that goes into it."
Walker said she wasn't concerned as to whether the quick lap laid down a psychological mark to her opponents, but it was good for her.
"I was putting the pressure on as if it was the final and I needed to perform the best lap that I could, and I think that I did that."
Walker finished fourth in Beijing, was world champion in 2009 and was runner-up in 2010 and 2011.
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