Team GB smash Tokyo 2020 Olympic BMX racing finals, as Beth Shriever takes gold and Kye Whyte silver

Huge performances to add to GB’s cycling medal tally

Bethany Shriever wins BMX gold
Bethany Shriever wins BMX gold
(Image credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

 Team GB’s Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte made history in the BMX racing finals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, taking the first ever medals in the discipline for the nation. 

Both riders had comfortably made it through the quarter-finals earlier this week, setting them up with a chance at medals on the final day of racing on Friday (July 30), which started with the semi-final races. 

Shriever, 22, from Finchingfield in Essex, won all three of her races in the semis at the Ariake Urban Sports Park in Tokyo, setting her up as the clear favourite for gold in the women’s finals, which followed just 30 minutes later. 

Meanwhile Whyte, from Peckham in south London, finished second in all three of his qualifying races to make the finals, but was unable to topple Dutchman Niek Kimman in the semi-final races.

Heading into the finals, it was the men’s event up first, and Whyte got a fantastic start from the gate to keep him in the medal contention, but after overshooting a landing on the first straight, Kimman once again began to pull ahead.

Kimman and Whyte began to pulled ahead of the competition on the middle section of the course, with the Brit beginning to close down his rival on the final straight.

But by that point, Kimman had done enough to secure the gold medal with a time of 39.053, while Whyte was a tenth of a second behind but utterly delighted to claim the silver medal spot. Colombia’s Carlos Alberto Ramirez Yepes took the bronze. 

Bethany Shriever and Kye Whyte celebrate their Olympics medals

Bethany Shriever and Kye Whyte celebrate their Olympics medals 

(Image credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Then 10 minutes later the women’s medals were decide. Shriever had a fantastic start from the gate and immediately began to pull ahead on the first straight.

>>> Tokyo 2020 Olympics cycling medals table

By the middle section of the course she had only extended her advantage, but into the final turn Colombia’s Mariana Pajon had pulled level.

Across the line however Shriever carried her speed and crossed the line to take the gold medal, with a time of 44.358 seconds, a tenth of a second ahead of Pajon in the silver medal position. Merel Smulders from the Netherlands took the final medal place. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics, BMX Racing women’s final

1.Bethan Shriever (GBr), in 44.358
2. Mariana Pajon (Col), in 44.448
3. Merel Smulders (Ned), in 44.721

Tokyo 2020 Olympics, BMX Racing men’s final 

1. Niek Kimman (Ned), in 39.053
2. Kye Whyte (GBr), in 39.167
3. Carlos Ramirez (Col), in 40.572

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.