10 Aug 2012

Willers into BMX semi, Pickard crashes out

10:22 pm on 10 August 2012

New Zealand's Marc Willers cruised into the semifinals of the BMX competition at the London Olympics, but teammate Kurt Pickard is out after a heavy crash on Thursday.

The top two riders from each of the five races in the quarterfinal heats progress to the semis.

Pickard, of Tauranga, started well with a fifth in his first race and a third in race 2, but crashed in the next race and had to be assisted from the track injured.

Willers, 26, from Cambridge, won race one in extraordinary fashion when all the other competitors fell.

In race two, he was second and came first again in race three, giving him four points and automatically putting him through as one of the top two qualifiers.

He is ranked No 4 in the world and is a strong possibility for a medal.

New Zealand's other champion BMX rider, Sarah Walkers, competes in the semifinal on Friday and is also a solid medal prospect.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee says Pickard re-injured an ankle, which had already caused him some trouble in training, and has several other bumps and bruises.