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Bethany Shriever wins Young Sportswoman of the Year after Olympic BMX gold

The Olympic gold medallist has been crowned after a stunning year as she also became World Champion.

Olympic flame arrives in Beijing

Olympic BMX gold medallist Bethany Shriever has won the Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year.

The 22-year-old hit the headlines at Tokyo 2020 when she won gold for Team GB, going unbeaten in her three semi runs before crossing the line just 0.090 seconds ahead of Colombia’s Marian Pajon to be crowned champion.

The Essex rider was famously swept up into the arms of her team-mate Kye Whyte – who had won silver in the men’s event – as the pair became Britain’s first BMX medallists.

But Shriever’s success didn’t stop there as she went on to become World Champion, the first woman in history to hold both titles at the same time.

Bethany Shriever – held aloft by her team-mate Kye Whyte at the Tokyo Games – has won Young Sportswoman of the Year
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Image:

Daily Mirror/Andy Stenning)

“To have this [medal] and to be able to share it with my family, it’s absolutely amazing,” she told BBC Sport after her return from Tokyo.

“I’ve dreamt about that moment for so long and to actually have it and it’s mine is unbelievable.

“It means so much – it’s just got the sport out there.”

Shriever has now added the Sunday Times Young Sportswoman of the Year crown to her name as she continues to be a role model to young female BMX riders all over the UK.

Other nominees up for the award were Keely Hodgkinson, Maisie Summers-Newton, Zoe Backstedt, Sky Brown and Alice Capsey.

Elsewhere tennis star Emma Raducanu won the main Sportswoman of the Year prize, with the awards – in association with Sky Sports – now in their 34th year.

Jonathan Licht, Managing Director of Sky Sports said: “It is more important than ever post-pandemic to celebrate the progress and phenomenal achievements in women’s sport.

“We have seen some astonishing moments throughout the year, not just in women’s sport but the contribution of these nominees to sport in general, from the success of The Hundred to the extraordinary story of Emma Raducanu that moved the nation.

“Sky Sports is pleased to play a part in the celebration of these incredible women.”

Bethany Shriever won Olympic gold and became World Champion
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Image:

Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror)

Shriever’s journey to Olympic gold was far from straightforward making her achievements all the more remarkable.

In 2017 UK Sport announced they would only fund male riders for the Tokyo 2020 cycle meaning Shriever left the national set-up to go solo.

She took a part-time teaching assistant job as well as crowdfunding £50,000 to stand a chance of qualifying.

Throughout her time on a BMX bike the rider had also fractured her wrist three times and, in 2014, she broke her leg only to break it again on her first training session back.

The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards in full

  • Emma Raducanu named The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year
  • Bethany Shriever is Young Sportswoman of the Year
  • Hannah Cockroft wins Disability Sportswoman of the Year
  • Ellie Simmonds receives the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration
  • Sports coach Clova Court voted Grassroots Sportswoman of the Year
  • Grand National winner Rachael Blackmore picked for the Editor’s Choice
  • Women’s health and performance expert Dr Emma Ross awarded the first Changemaker Award
  • The Sky Sports Team of the Year awarded to Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald

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