Charlotte Worthington: Parents' 'disbelief' after landing BMX freestyle backflip for Olympic gold

" was really unreal. We both knew she had it in her" - parents of BMX freestyler Charlotte Worthington.

The parents of Olympic gold medalist Charlotte Worthington say they were in 'disbelief' when she landed the first ever 360 backflip to be performed in women’s competition.

The former chef from Manchester served up a gold medal for Team GB in the BMX freestyle in Tokyo on Sunday.

Despite falling in her first run, Worthington landed a front flip and the 'unreal' backflip on her way to a first-place finish in her second.

Charlotte served up the first ever backflip in a women's freestyle BMX competition. Credit: PA

Speaking to ITV Granada Reports, Charlotte's parents, Sarah-Jane and John Worthington, said they were watching as the historic moment unfolded 6,000 miles away.

"It was almost like disbelief to be honest", said Sarah-Jane. "It was unreal because I hadn't really emotionally come back from the fact that she'd had that fall, picking herself up again and doing the final run.

"So in my head in my head I was still thinking: 'oh, goodness. She'll struggle to get a medal now she's had a fall.'

"Mentally to get back to that position it was really unreal. We both knew she had it in her."

John Worthington says Charlotte's performance "will bring lots more young women into the sport."

Her dad said the second run - which landed her the gold medal - was "heart-stopping" after falling during her first attempt.

After the incredible performance on Sunday, Charlotte's parents say that she hopes more young women will be encouraged to take up the sport.

John said: "The main thing that Charlotte would be pleased about, and indeed we are incredibly pleased about, is the fact that it will bring lots more young women into the sport and it will develop for everybody as a result of this because it's really high profile now.

Britain’s most successful female Olympic track cyclist Laura Kenny saying: “I think that’s one of my favourite ever Olympic golds!”

Charlotte worked as a chef at a Mexican restaurant in Bury before leaving to focus on becoming a professional BMX rider.

Jordan Carter, who is the general manager of Racconto Lounge, said he had 'full faith' in her making the Olympics.

He said: "From what I remember, she was doing 40 hours a week while she was here, so all her spare time she was on the skate park or the stadium practicing.

"As a whole company to say that one of our ex-employees has gone away and become an Olympic champion - we're overwhelmingly proud."