Great Britain’s Charlotte Worthington recovered from a fall in her first run to win a thrilling gold medal in the Women’s Olympic Freestyle Final at BMX Park.
The 25-year-old, who gave up working as a chef to focus on the sport in 2017, achieved an action-packed score of 97.50 to win the gold in her second round.
The remarkable excitement paved the way for Declan Brooks to take bronze in the men’s event, his fourth British BMX medal in a fantastic week.
The 25-year-old watched the riders fail to pass the 90.80 mark, with Australian Martin Logan taking gold at 93.30.
Brooks’ medal followed shortly after Worthington’s impressive win. With no degree of significance on the board after she fell, she simply had to give birth on the second run and did so by becoming the first woman to land in competition at a 360-degree angle—the same stunt that left her on the ground during the first run. .
She celebrated her results vigorously and then watched four competitors – including favorite Hannah Roberts – fail to usurp her mark.
“It was unbelievable,” Worthington said when asked about the back switch.
“I haven’t done this trick for a long time but we are trying to find the big legend trick and when we did it we thought ‘this is the trick’. If not Hannah Roberts, We will not do these tricks.
“A lot of hard work paid off.”
The riders were rated on their best result from their two rounds, while Worthington 97.50 transferred all the pressure to American Roberts, who looked like she could shine for the title after scoring 96.10 in the first round.
The 19-year-old—who threw her bike in the excitement to complete her first round—couldn’t finish her second 60-second task at the Tokyo Games, and as the competition’s final jockey, her franchise confirmed Worthington’s status as champion.
Roberts, winner of all three World Cup events in the last full season of BMX Freestyle in 2019 – looked stunned by the transformation.
“There was definitely a lot going on,” said Roberts, who beat Swiss Nikita Ducaroz for the bronze. “The first round was good and I know there are places I can improve. I slipped and hurt my ankle.
“I am honored to be second only to Charlotte. It is definitely an exciting time for our sport.”
Worthington and Brooks’ medals come on the heels of the gold and silver medals respectively of Britons Bethany Shriver and Key White in the BMX races at the Games.
Worthington, who recently switched to BMX, chose to give up her role as a chef in 2017, telling BBC Sport she had been “sweating in the kitchen for more than 40 hours a week and barely had any time or energy to ride”.
The move came with what she called a “lifestyle change” and she was keen to point out how personal development in her life away from the bike had framed her for honing her skills in it.
Worthington said the postponement to Tokyo 2020 gave her more time to develop the tricks she’ll need on the big stage.
She has now won British, European and Olympic titles.
“I cried but you startled me.”
Brooks, who nearly missed the Games after knocking himself out during the world championships in June, improved his first-round points to 90.80 and then patiently tracked down the six riders who followed him in the second.
Only one, Venezuela’s Daniel Deres, managed to beat him, and Logan from his first round scored enough to take the gold medal.
Brooks told BBC Sport: “I just cried in the last two minutes.
“It’s an incredible journey I’ve had on my way here. I’m so excited. I don’t think it’s going to sink in for a while. For Charlotte to do her things today and put the score and the tricks out there. Never before, it’s been so much more difficult to focus.”
“I knew how far I wanted to go, I still missed some parts, but to be honest, I think that’s all I have.”