Alistair Brownlee emphatically destroyed any talk of a curse as he cruised to victory in this morning’s men’s triathlon. The triathlon has skyrocketed in popularity in Great Britain, but despite this fact, Great Britain had been shut out from medals ever since the sport debuted in the Olympics back in 2000. Before the race, there had been the pesky talk that a favorite and the test event winner had never taken gold in the triathlon. Alistair squashed all those ramblings with his dominant one hour, 46 minute and 25 second win.
Slovakia’s Richard Varga was the first to come out after the 1500 meter swim. The Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, came close behind and from that point started to set the pace of the race. During the 43km bike, France’s Vincent Luis had the slight edge, but the Brownlees were chasing him down. The brothers seemed set to dominant the 10km run, but then Jonathan got caught with a time penalty for mounting his bike too early and had to serve it during the run. The penalty wasn’t too much of a detriment as he was quickly able to catch up with his brother soon after.
The run came down to a final three that broke away from the rest of the pack. The Brownlee brothers were being tightly followed by Spain’s Javier Gomez. During the dramatic foot race, it was Alistair and Gomez that got away from Jonathan, and the two were battling it out until the final lap. It was during this final stretch that Alistair separated from Gomez and turned the corner to the finish line with no competitor challenging him. Alistair came towards the finish line with a 10-second cushion, grabbed a British flag and jogged to his sweet victory.
Javier Gomez followed after to win the silver. Jonathan took home the bronze to give Great Britain two medals in an event they had desperately wanted any medal in for the last 12 years. The Brownlees then embraced at the race finish, and were satisfied in succeeding at their goal. Though Jonathan would have loved to take home the gold or at least to get a place higher, it was clear he was proud of his brother’s victory.
As for the sport’s iron men, American Hunter Kemper gutted out an injury to place with a strong 14th place. While the first ever Olympic triathlon gold medalist, Canada’s Simon Whitfield crashed in the cycling portion and was unable to finish the race. Despite being unable to provide a real challenge for the medals, they need to be commended for their impressive longevity in the sport.
This race was all about Alistair Brownlee finally giving Great Britain their golden moment in the Olympic triathlon. Alistair proved once again why he is ranked number one in the world.
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(Image courtesy of NBC)