|Events: July 23rd – August 8th Time in Tokyo: BST +8|
|Cover: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and Sounds; Live text and video clips on the BBC Sport website and app.|
Brit Bethany Shriever won gold in the women’s BMX final shortly after teammate Kye Whyte won the nation’s first Olympic medal with silver in the men’s event.
Shriever, 22, was lifted in the air by Whyte as the two celebrated their historic successes in Tokyo.
To Need crowdfunding in order to travel to Japan, Shriever stopped the two-time champion Mariana Pajon to victory.
In the men’s race, Whyte was 0.114 seconds behind Niek Kimmann from the Netherlands.
The two kept their focus and serenity after both finals were delayed by serious falls.
The American Connor Fields, the men’s favorite, was taken off the track on a stretcher after a terrible fall in the third and final heat of his semi-finals and then taken to the hospital.
A spokesman for the American team later said Fields was “awake” waiting for further evaluation, although the extent of his injuries was not yet clear.
Australian Saya Sakakibara also needed medical help after falling in the women’s semifinals.
“I almost cried at Kyes Silver”
Shriever was considered the UK’s next breakout star after winning the junior world title in 2017.
She decided to pursue a solo career and not only started the Crowdfunder in 2019, but also worked part-time as a teaching assistant to finance herself.
She returned to British Cycling later in 2019 with UK Sport’s more flexible funding approach which allowed him to invest in her.
Her effort and dedication were rewarded with a breathtaking ride in Tokyo, during which she ended the rule of the Colombian Pajon, referred to by the British as her childhood idol.
“To be honest, I’m shocked. It’s quite an achievement to be here,” said Shriever, who won all three of her semi-finals to qualify for the final.
“To reach a final is another achievement in itself. To win a medal, let alone a gold medal, I’m over the moon.
“Winning a medal wasn’t my goal – the results are out of our control. To keep my routine and stay cool on the track, I’ve managed to hold onto and deserve the win. It’s insane.”
Whyte and Shriever celebrated together after winning medals on their Olympic debuts
Both Shriever and 21-year-old Whyte made their Olympic debuts in the Japanese capital.
There were cheering scenes as the two celebrated their mutual success, Shriever then fell exhausted on the track.
“I watched him climb up. I almost cried because he took silver. I had to stay cool and sit back and just dig in. I gave it my all,” said Shriver, who won all three semifinals races.[mycoolandresetandjustdiginIgaveiteverything”saidShriverwhowonallthreeofhersemi-finalraces[mycoolandresetandjustdiginIgaveiteverything”saidShriverwhowonallthreeofhersemi-finalraces
“I had nothing left, the lactic acid was crazy. I gave absolutely everything I had.”
Whyte’s path to Olympic silver
Whyte has fought back from a serious injury and secured his place on the Olympic podium.
The driver arrived in Tokyo on Dec.
“The medal means everything to me,” he said.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s hard to get to the Olympics at all. It’s special to do well and win a medal.”
The Londoner, known as the Prince of Peckham, looked stunned as he celebrated with his family at home on a video screen on the side of the track.
Whyte later thanked his family – including his brother Tre, who won the 2014 World Championship bronze before retiring in 2020 – and the members of the Peckham BMX Club for staying up early in the morning to see his success.
“I think Trey could cry. My dad definitely cried, and my mom cried too. It’ll be crazy when I come back,” said Whyte, who said the heavy medal “hurt” his neck.
Former British BMX rider Shanaze Reade, who finished sixth in the 2012 London Final, said the couple had “done the feats of a lifetime”.
“It’s both an honor. Going to your first Olympics is nerve-wracking; going to your first Olympics and actually winning it and getting a silver medal is incredible,” said Reade, an analyst with BBC Television.
“I always say that a happy head means fast legs – the two boys looked so happy, so relaxed and took it on with all their might. Their performances showed that.”
Supersonic Shriever impresses rock and roll star Gallagher
Though Shriever’s success came at 4:45 a.m. BST, former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher didn’t stop him from showing off his newfound love for the BMX rider.
Sam Quek, the former British hockey player who turned BBC television host, said Shriever “proved the doubters wrong”.
Cycling colleague Geraint Thomas, two-time gold medalist in track cycling, also paid tribute to the achievements of Shriever and Whyte.