BMX history made for Team GB as Beth Shriever wins gold and Kye Whyte claims silver
Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte made BMX history for Great Britain on 30 July as they won gold and silver.
Moments after Whyte won Britain’s first medal in the event since its introduction to the Olympic programme in 2008, taking silver behind Dutchman Niek Kimmann, Shriever led almost from start to finish to claim a superb gold in the women’s race.
Shriever’s gold came just moments after Whyte had broken Britain’s BMX medal duck in the men’s event.
As the 22-year-old collapsed in tears after the final a jubilant Whyte scooped her up and held her aloft in celebration.
“I’m more happy for her than I am for me,” Whyte said afterwards. “That girl puts in some serious serious graft.”
He added: “I just came out of the gate, and I didn’t expect it but in the back of my head I kept telling myself I was going to get a medal.
“I didn’t deserve it any more than any of the other riders but I put my head to it and I got a medal.”
Shriever had looked like the class of the field in the semi-finals, winning all three races in her semi-final, and there was no change when it came to the moment that mattered.
Shriever led from the first bend, holding off a late charge from defending champion Mariana Pajon of Colombia down the final straight to win by nine hundredths of a second.
“I’m just in bits,” the Londoner said. “I tried my hardest out there today and to be rewarded with a gold medal is honestly mind-blowing.
"I kept my cool today, kept it simple, and it worked. I’m over the moon. I’ve done my family and my boyfriend back home proud.
“I don’t think it’s registering right now what’s just happened.”
As of Friday 30 July at 8am, Great Britain sits in sixth place in the Olympic leaderboard table – with six gold, nine silver and nine bronze medals.