Waltham Forest had a stellar run at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – with two of its athletes winning medals.
Leytonstone-born Bethany Shriever, 22, took home gold in Tokyo in women’s BMX racing.
The men’s silver medallist, Kye Whyte, from Peckham, picked her up on the track post-win, taking her for a spin – in part to celebrate, but also because Bethany’s legs had cramped up!
“I just gave it everything,” Bethany told BBC Sport afterwards. “I had nothing left in my legs at the end there. I was lucky Kye was there because I honestly couldn’t even walk. So to have him there to lift me up and to celebrate together was amazing.”
Of her win, she added to Eurosport: “Honestly, it’s crazy. I’m still speechless, still overwhelmed. The amount of support me and Kye have been receiving is out of this world. Pretty much the perfect day – I gave it all I got, and got rewarded with this gold medal.”
Bethany’s winning streak continued just a few weeks later on 23rd August – taking the top title at the women’s BMX World Championships in the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, top Leyton sprinter Asha Philip – already a Rio 2016 bronze medallist – added another amazing bronze to her collection in the 4 x 100m relay.
Asha and teammates Imani Lansiquot, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita broke Team GB’s record with a time of 41.88 seconds – 0.86 behind gold winners Jamaica, and 0.43 behind silver winners USA.
30-year-old Asha, who attended Connaught School for Girls in Leytonstone as a youngster, is the former World Youth Championships 100m gold medallist.
She also has two silvers for the 4 x 100m relay, from the 2017 and 2019 World Championships.
Bethany and Asha aren’t the borough’s only recent Olympic medallists. At Rio 2016, Walthamstow’s own Lutalo Muhammad won silver in taekwondo.
Gold went to the Ivory Coast’s Cheick Sallah Junior Cisse in a nail-biting match, which he took in the final second. Lutalo previously won bronze at London 2012.