Brownlee’s recent progress raises his hopes of success

Alistair Brownlee
Alistair Brownlee
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London 2012 gold medal favourite Alistair Brownlee is confident there is sufficient time to fully recover from his torn Achilles injury before the Olympics.

The world’s top triathlete has resumed light training after sustaining the damage to his left ankle at the end of February.

Yorkshireman Brownlee has now developed a more positive outlook on the injury and believes he will be ready for August 7 when the triathlon is staged.

“I’ve been better. If you’d asked me about my fitness three weeks ago it would have been a very negative answer,” said the 23-year-old from Leeds.

“It’s looking better now and I’ve been out of the cast for the past two to three weeks.

“I’m slowly doing more training and in two to three weeks I should be up to a decent level of training and on the way back to fitness.

“If you want to put a positive spin on it, then it has given me a rest now.

“But I don’t believe in that positive spin.

“It would have been better if it hadn’t happened, but it has and I have to get on with that.

“I put all my emphasis on getting better rather than training.

“The important thing is to get 100 per cent fit and then crack on with training. I’ve still got a fair few months to get fit.”

As well as harbouring hopes of Brownlee winning gold at home, Britain will also be optimistic about its cycling team, under the leadership of Dave Brailsford. He said yesterday he is ready to loosen his grip, but not let go completely, on British Cycling after the Olympic Games.

Brailsford has been doing the job of two committed people over the last four years, doubling up his role as British Cycling performance director alongside that of principal of Team Sky, the road team which launched in January 2010 with the aim of winning the Tour de France within five years.

“The growth of cycling’s enormous and there’s only so much I can do in a day,” said Brailsford.

“There’s no doubt about it that with all of the responsibilities that I have it’s difficult to maintain the same level of detail across the entire British programme.

“It would make sense for my role, or my job description, to shift slightly, but we’ll review that after the Games.”

Brailsford led Great Britain to eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and recognised the potential on the road, launching Team Sky.

The success he masterminded sparked a remarkable rise of cycling, for participation and as sport, across disciplines as diverse as track, road, mountain bike and BMX.

Brailsford is prepared to share responsibility in the build-up to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, with Team Sky set to take more of his focus.

“The key thing is I want to maintain a strong link and involvement with British Cycling, it’s just possibly a subtle change to some of my responsibilities, maybe delegate some of the more day-to-day operational stuff and still be involved at the strategic management level.”