Tokyo Olympics: Great Britain BMX star Kye Whyte vows to bring home gold medal

29 September 2020, 17:03 | Updated: 29 September 2020, 20:39

Great Britain BMX star Kye Whyte says he is targeting a gold medal at next year's Tokyo Olympics - in what will be the first Games of his career.

Speaking to Sky Sports News as part of National Inclusion Week, the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) rider also said BMX was "more inclusive" than road cycling, which he described as "an upper-class sport".

The youngster from Peckham will have to wait until 2021 for his debut Games, after the 2020 edition was pushed back to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, but Whyte cannot wait to show what he can do on the world stage and feels he can win Britain's first gold in the discipline.

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When asked if he felt he could bring home the gold, Whyte said: "I believe I can. Last year, the guys went to the [Olympic] test event when I was injured, as soon as my coach got there he sent me a message saying the course was made for me.

"From there, I got it into my head that when I do get there, I feel like I will know what it will be like to be on the course already.

"In my head I'm imagining what I can do around the course. If I can perfect my starts, keep working on it, keep them consistent at a perfect level, all I will need to do is go to the Olympics and do what I have been doing in training.

"Mentally and physically I'm in a great place to go to the Olympics. It will be my first one. I was really hoping it would be this year. In January, February I've never been so fast in my life and I felt untouchable.

"I was in such a good head space. But then I got inured, because we started training on home, so then I didn't really want to go. Then it was cancelled. Now I feel I can get even stronger.

"In 2019 I was injured for about four months and then came back faster than I ever was. A whole year of doing the same training, I should be even faster. I can't wait."

Whyte was also asked to compare BMX to road cycling, a sport which saw just one black rider out of 175 during this year's Tour de France - the biggest race on the annual calendar.

That man was Kevin Reza, and Whyte feels he should be "proud" despite the lack of diversity.

"I feel like it's more of an upper class sport," he added. "Road cycling bikes are quite expensive. It's more of a richer sport than other sports. If you compare it to football, all you need to do is buy a ball for ten pounds.

"With road cycling you need the kit - that's not cheap at all. You need shoes, you need a helmet, and the bike can be from £600 to £10,000.

"[BMX] is more inclusive. I started in a club. Most riders start in a club. But with road riding, you buy a bike and you meet people on the way or meet them at coffee shops.

"With BMX you start at clubs, you try to gather people from the local area, you can get a bike for £200, wear normal gloves, normal clothes when you start out and of course a helmet. It's not that expensive."

On Reza, Whyte said: "I feel like he should be proud. He should own it to the max and try and inspire others."