OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Alistair Brownlee hails brother for securing triathlon medals
By Sportsbeat staff, London 2012
ALISTAIR Brownlee paid tribute to his brother after battling his way to Olympic triathlon gold with a stunning display of dominance.
BROTHERS AT THEIR BEST: Alistair and Jonny Brownlee finished first and third to secure Great Britain's first triathlon medals
Brownlee was clearly fully recovered from his early season Achilles injury as he crossed the line, wrapped in a Union Flag, ahead of Spain’s Javier Gomez and his younger brother Jonathan, who claimed bronze.
But Brownlee also paid credit to teammate Stuart Hayes, who put in a big shift during the bike leg to help open up a big gap on the field.
“I’m massively proud, it has been talked about so much that Great Britain haven’t won a medal in triathlon and favourites don’t win gold medals,” said Brownlee.
“The pressure was stacked up and there is so much folklore put to bed which is great and to get two of us, two British brothers, up on the podium – you couldn’t ask for any more.
“That race was just unbelievable. I felt in control from the start and the crowd – I’ve never come across anything like that and probably never will again. I think my ears are still ringing – it was absolutely amazing.
“We really were a team of three and we’ve had a great six weeks training together. We’ve worked out a great plan for this and executed it really, really well.
“I was relieved to finish, you usually are in triathlon because it’s two hours long and you’re quite tired at the end. As much as I try and say that the Olympics is just another race it’s not quite like any other race.
“I’ve been watching all the other sports for the last ten days and I was just so excited to start.
“I woke up and I wasn’t even nervous – I was just like a kid at Christmas again just so excited to get out and race so it’s great to come out and race and obviously I got the result I wanted.”
Jonathan Brownlee was even given a 15-second penalty from an error in the swim/bike transition but still secured the last spot on the podium, collapsing from exhaustion as he crossed the line and spending nearly an hour recovering with medics.
And his brother revealed he went out hard on the opening lap of the run to help secure his brother a medal – and also questioned the officials’ decision.
“We knew he had a penalty early on in the bike and I was told Jonny to keep calm because I knew he could still make the podium with the penalty,” Alistair added.
"I took out the first lap of the run really hard to try and get Jonny as far away from the others as possible.
“I’ve never been a fan of these penalties at the best of times – they’re are ruining the sport of triathlon with it.”
After crossing the line, Jonny needed medical treatment as delayed the medal ceremony half an hour before he could pick up his bronze.
But the exhaustive efforts needed to triumph in the triathlon are all too familiar to the brothers.
“He’s fine, triathlon is a tough sport and we’ve both been in that position,” insisted Alistair Brownlee.
“I think it was deceptively hard. It was fast but also with this hot, humid and muggy kind of day.
“It dehydrates you and overheats you and he was probably just right on the edge at the finish like you are normally and it probably just tipped him over the edge towards the end.”
© Sportsbeat 2012