Brownlee going solo to reach Tokyo gold

Jonny Brownlee is convinced it is time to step out of his older brother's shadow and complete some of the 'unfinished business' that has so far been denied by his all-conquering sibling.
Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee leads from brother Jonny at the Rio Olympics.Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee leads from brother Jonny at the Rio Olympics.
Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee leads from brother Jonny at the Rio Olympics.

The younger Brownlee will get a rare chance to strike out on his own after double Olympic triathlon champion Alistair announced he will begin to adapt his training with a view to competing in ‘Ironman’ endurance events.

And although he admits the idea of not lining up alongside Alistair on the start line will be a strange one, Jonny believes it could be of both physical and psychological benefit as he targets his own elusive Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020.

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Brownlee said: “Ali might leave me to train and race on my own for a couple of years and that might be a good thing – when he does decide to come back hopefully I’ll be a better and more mature athlete.

“It will be strange not having him there next to me – it made the whole journey a lot easier – but it might force me to look at new methods of training and realise what’s best for myself.

“A lot of my best races in recent years have been in competitions when Ali hasn’t been there.

“In the past I’ve raced more aggressively without Ali, because sometimes I go into races thinking Ali is the dominant one, whereas when he’s not there I’m more confident about taking things on myself.”

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Alistair Brownlee is still expected to compete in a number of Olympic-distance triathlons and has committed to the second World Series event in the Brownlees’ home city of Leeds on June 10 and 11.

Jonny Brownlee, who was famously helped over the finish line by his brother in the World Series event in Cozumel at the end of last year, insisted he was not tempted to consider following suit.

He added: “I feel like I’ve got a lot of unfinished business in the sport as it is – I’d love to become world champion this year, and Olympic champion.

“I feel like I’ve got more to prove after what happened in Cozumel.

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“I’ve done tests and I’ve learned what I can’t get away with in terms of preparation so that is probably a good thing.

“Obviously the Leeds Triathlon is going to be a big thing for both of us this year. It was incredible competing in front of such big crowds last year, and it would be great to start by beating Ali in Leeds.”