Youth Olympics: Sarah Walker's BMX apprentice Jessie Smith ready to shine

BMX star Sarah Walker's admitted her years in the sport are numbered, but she's making sure there's another generation ready to take her place.

And Jessie Smith is already right on the heels of Walker after being fast-tracked to the life of an elite BMX athlete.

"Sometimes I don't want to ride after her because then I don't look as good as what she made it look," Walker told Newshub.

Walker brought about the competition herself after she identified her talent when Smith was just nine-years-old.

"Since I was four she's been my idol, so when she approached me I was just like 'woah, the Sarah Walker'."

After eight years of mentoring her, sponsoring her and training side-by-side, the duo are undoubtedly close.

They have their own sign language for when they're out of breath at training and when Walker was injured earlier this year, Smith was even her stunt double.

"She's definitely a little sister - I wouldn't go so far as to say 'mum'. I'm too young for that," Walker laughs.

And just last weekend they lined up alongside each other at an elite World Cup Olympic Qualifier for the very first time.

"It was a dream come true to race her and get fifth," says Smith.

"She beat someone that won a world cup this year at the elite level, so that was really impressive. To be honest, I'm glad I finished in front of her," adds Walker.

In just two week's time, Walker will be the one on the sidelines when Jessie takes on the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, where she's expecting to medal.

The apprentice is ready to take over from the master.

"I'm not planning to do BMX forever. I think when I finish she'll be able to just carry on without me, no worries."

But for now, the chance to line up next to each other in Tokyo isn't too far-fetched either.