Brownlees double up as Alistair completes set of titles

Alistair Brownlee (right)  is congratulated by his brother Jonathan after winning the Men's Triathlon.
Alistair Brownlee (right) is congratulated by his brother Jonathan after winning the Men's Triathlon.
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LEEDS’S Alistair Brownlee vowed he will never lose his hunger after adding yet another title to his glittering triathlon portfolio.

The 26-year-old beat brother Jonathan to Commonwealth Games gold as England completed a dream day at Strathclyde Country Park.

The Olympic gold medallist had time to grab England and Yorkshire flags and give his brother a clap as he walked down the home straight and over the finish line.

England had never won a medal in triathlon at the Commonwealths before, but took home four on one day after Jodie Stimpson produced a superb performance to take gold in the women’s race with Leeds-based Vicky Holland winning a surprise bronze.

The Brownlees led virtually from start to finish but it was 26-year-old Alistair who again had the edge to add the Commonwealth crown to his Olympic gold, two world and three European titles.

Alistair joked he might have to retire now he had nothing new left to win, but his competitive desire is deadly serious.

He said: “I’m fortunate; I’ve won the world title, I’ve won the Olympic title and to complete the set with the Commonwealth title as well, that’s the most important thing for me.

“They’re the big three things in Olympic-distance triathlon so it’s perfect, it’s far more than I ever could have dreamed of.

“That’s fantastic but in no way does that make me any less competitive.

“Stick me on a start-line and whether it’s a training session on a rainy Saturday morning in Leeds or a Commonwealth Games on a very hot Thursday in Glasgow, it doesn’t matter, I’m still very competitive.

“More than anything, injuries have taught me that I love what I do, I love being on the start-line and I love being able to compete. I can’t really see the appeal of that going even if I’m not able to win races.”

Jonathan, 24, who won Olympic bronze in 2012, finished 11 seconds adrift while South Africa’s Richard Murray took bronze.

The Brownlees had stated their intention to make it a hard race from the start and they certainly delivered. After coming out of the 1.5km swim in the top three, only 20-year-old Scot Marc Austin could stay with them on the 40km bike ride.

He finally found the pace too hot to handle coming to the end of the penultimate lap and paid for his efforts later as he staggered across the line in 22nd.

Alistair and Jonathan maintained a lead of around a minute, meaning it was a straight fight between them on the 10km run.

Alistair, who has made his now customary return to top form after early-season niggles, pulled away early on and was never in danger of being caught.

He admitted he thought about waiting for Jonathan, but said: “We’d get told off a lot if we crossed the line together so I didn’t.”

Jonathan completed his own sweep having won Olympic bronze, the world title in 2012 and now Commonwealth silver.

He has still not got the better of his brother in the big races, though, and admitted he paid for the hard work they did together on the bike.

Jonathan said: “I’m used to it now. I’m the guy who always comes second or third.

“Hopefully my time will come. He’s getting older, he’s getting a little bit greyer, so hopefully in a few years’ time I’ll be able to beat him.

“I like to think I’m getting closer. If it had been a different race I might have been a little bit closer. That race (yesterday) definitely suited him.”

Jonathan had to lie down in the media area at the end of the race and have cooling towels placed on his body, although it was nothing like as dramatic as his collapse at the end of the Olympic race.

England’s third athlete, Aaron Harris, came a very creditable sixth in his first major Games with Scotland’s David McNamee, who sustained serious wrist damage in a bike crash in February, one place further back.

Earlier, Stimpson showed what a phenomenal athlete she has become since missing out on selection for the Olympics in 2012 by winning a high-class race.

A pack of six were together for most of the run but Stimpson gradually dropped them all to win the first gold of the Games, with Canada’s Kirsten Sweetland taking silver ahead of Holland.