Rio 2016: Champion Alistair Brownlee targeting treble bid in Tokyo

Alistair Brownlee expects to bid for a hat-trick of triathlon golds at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Alistair Brownlee and Jonny Brownlee in the sea before setting off on their journey to first and second in Rio.

Yorkshireman Brownlee, who held off the challenge from his younger brother Jonny, 26, in Rio to claim his second title in as many Games, will be 32 at the time of the next Olympics.

But the two-time gold medallist, who celebrated his latest triumph by flying first class on Team GB’s chartered overnight flight from Rio, refused to rule out gunning for a third title in Japan.

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“I still think 32 should be an age to be competitive at,” said Brownlee.

“I definitely want to do other things at some point – like the Ironman or long-distance racing – but it is too hard to say I wouldn’t go to another Olympics. I will probably be there.”

Just as he did in London, Brownlee – who underwent ankle surgery in August last year – blew away the field to become the first triathlete to win two gold medals.

He collapsed on the line, hugging his brother Jonny, who claimed the silver medal, in one of the famous images of the Games.

And the eldest of the Leeds duo added that their unique family partnership proved crucial in fending off their rivals to seal a historic one-two finish.

“We both know how important we have been, pushing each other on over the years,” added Brownlee.

“From everything, to just motivation to get out of the door in the morning – if you know your little brother is going to go training you are going to go training, too – to being able to travel the world together.

“That has been really important over the years.

“Over the last three months we have done almost every session together, even the very hard sessions where we are pushing each other as hard as we can.

“There is no-one else in the world that can do that with each other, but we have done that time and time again, four or five times a week in the last three months, and that has been absolutely crucial.”

Andy Murray, meanwhile, has been credited with inspiring Team GB’s greatest overseas Olympic Games as a squad of triumphant athletes arrived home from Rio on a gold-nosed Boeing 747.

Flying home on a chartered British Airways flight – BA2016 – the team were shown singing “God Save The Queen” ahead of take-off - with BA providing 77 extra bottles of champagne on a special plane, emblazoned with ‘victoRIOus’ – and also took the opportunity to post selfies from the cockpit and gathered with their team-mates in the cabin.

Having exceeded their haul from the London, Great Britain brought back 67 medals from Brazil as a large number of athletes arrived at Heathrow on Tuesday morning to be greeted by friends, family and hoards of supporters.

Double gold-medallist Max Whitlock tried out some of his gymnastics routine on the first-class seats and he and champion boxer Nicola Adams were the first two stars to emerge from the plane, standing at the top of the stairs as the rest of the athletes filed out to cheers and applause.

Although both were absent on Tuesday, Team GB chef de mission Mark England was full of praise for Murray and golfer Justin Rose, revealing how a rousing speech from Murray on the eve of the Games had spurred the team to go on to glory.

England said: “We had some very, very high-profile athletes in the team in a way that we hadn’t necessarily had before.

“Justin Rose is a good example of that and Andy Murray was defending his title from London. Andy was the flag-bearer and spoke to all of the team before the opening ceremony, spoke really eloquently about being part of Team GB and the importance of everybody doing everything they could to replicate London.

“Justin has been absolutely outstanding, not only in the support of the Great Britain Olympic team but of golf in the Olympics as well, and to have athletes of that stature in addition to athletes who have medalled in five consecutive games and others defending titles, it was a very powerful thing.”

Adam Peaty began Great Britain’s record medal rush and is now hoping his achievements can continue to build Team GB’s growing legacy.

Peaty, who broke the 100m breaststroke world-record twice on his way to securing Team GB’s first medal in Rio as he sealed the gold, is hoping for a chance to replicate the achievements of a host of medal winners who became instant household names following 2012.

“Sport is a massively powerful thing,” he said. “There is no language barrier and I can shake the hand with China and Russia, athletes that don’t speak any English, but it doesn’t matter. I hope people look at how I’ve got into the Games and want to get involved.”

Likewise, Dina Asher-Smith was just 16 when the likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah took gold in London.

But she returned from Rio with a bronze in the women’s 4x100m relay and is now looking to become an inspiration.

“Personally I hope I can inspire somebody,” she said.