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U.S. BMX riders put pedal to the medal: 1 silver, 2 bronze

August 22, 2008 |  2:05 am

Jill Kintner BEIJING -- It might have been the loudest third-place finish in Olympic history.

It was certainly the loudest third-place finish in Olympic BMX history given that it came at the end of the first race in Olympic BMX history.

"I was screaming," said Seattle's Jill Kintner after finishing third in the women's final behind a pair of Frenchwomen, Anne-Caroline Chausson and Laetitia le Corguille. "This sport is all about being in the right spot at the right time."

Kintner was hopelessly out of medal contention before Chausson and reigning world champion Shanaze Reade touched wheels midway into the final turn as Reade tried to pass on the inside.

"In BMX you never know where they are," Chausson said. "In the last straight I certainly wasn't going to give up. I was surprised to see her coming inside. She made an error and all the better for the French team."

The American team too. "This means so much for America and the sport," said Kintner, whose bronze, combined with the silver of Mike Day and the bronze of Donny Robinson in the men's race, gave the U.S. three BMX medals. "This gives the USA a huge boost coming to the next Olympics. It means everything.

"We got three medals out of six. That says a lot about our program."

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Jill Kintner, after winning the bronze medal. Credit: Ivan Sekretarev / Associated Press

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