Alistair Brownlee. Photo credit: jandercito http://flic.kr/p/abCpXL
Brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee maintained Team GB’s stunning showing at London 2012 by claiming gold and bronze medals in the gruelling triathlon event on day 11. Alistair destroyed the field and was even able to slow to a walk, grab a union jack flag from a spectator and nonchalantly amble over the finishing line. Too easy.
The 24-year old world champion won the three-stage event in a time of 1hr 45min 25sec in front of huge crowds who packed the banks of the Serpentine and the fields of the Royal park. Spain’s double world champion Javier Gómez pushed Alistair Brownlee hard throughout and stayed with the winner until the final lap, noted The Guardian “but Alistair Brownlee’s race was masterful and aggressive.”
Jonny Brownlee, Alistair’s 22-year old brother, had to take a 15-second penalty after the third lap of the run after mounting his bike a fraction too early after the 1.5km swim. He finished in less good shape than his older brother; the awards ceremony was held up in order for him to receive medical attention for his overexertion.
Britain had never even won a medal in the sport before but Alistair went into the race as the defending champion and hot favorite having dominated triathlon over the last four years, reported The Independent. The triathlon gold brings Team GB’s medal haul to 19 golds, the same number achieved over the course of the whole Olympic Games in Beijing.
9 – Following Triathlon success, Team GB have now won gold in more different disciplines than the USA (8). Variety
— Opta Sports (@OptaJim) August 7, 2012
The Brownlee brothers success “prove that work ethic and attention to detail can reap Olympic rewards,” said Jim White at The Telegraph, who described the pair as the “happiest siblings in the country.” White insisted that the result “had barely been in doubt from the moment the brothers dived into the grey, choppy waters of the Serpentine.” White celebrated that a whopping 300,000 spectators turned out to watch the unticketed event – “the biggest ever gathering in their sport’s history.” “Everyone was invited, but the park seemed particularly populated by wiry middle aged men in lycra, triathlon’s natural constituency,” observed White.
British triathlon people saying Brownlee medals will bring massive participation boost. Not if people look at Jonny, a wreck after that race
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) August 7, 2012
The English county of Yorkshire has joined the top 10 of the Olympic medal table, exclaimed Jonathan Brown at The Independent, who reminded that heptathlete Jessica Ennis (Sheffield), Brownlee (Dewsbury), and rowers Andrew Triggs-Hodge (Grassington), Ed Clancy (Huddersfield) and Kat Copeland (Stokesley) all hail from Yorkshire. Brown celebrated that, with five golds, Yorkshire “is now ahead of economic and sporting powerhouses” such as Australia, South Africa and Japan.
The county also has silvers in cycling – courtesy of Otley’s Liz Armistead in the road race and Northallerton’s Nicola Wilson in equestrian. Jonny Brownlee’s bronze is not the only Yorkshire bronze – Tom Ransley from York won bronze in the men’s rowing eights and Clancy also added a bronze to go with his gold medal. Yorkshire boxers Nicola Adams, originally from Leeds, and Luke Campbell from Hull are also guaranteed bronze.