Commonwealth Games: GB triathlon team finds silver lining on Gold Coast

England's Alistair Brownlee (left) Jessica Learmonth,  Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland celebrate taking silver during the Mixed Team Relay Triathlon. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA
England's Alistair Brownlee (left) Jessica Learmonth, Jonathan Brownlee and Vicky Holland celebrate taking silver during the Mixed Team Relay Triathlon. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA
0
Have your say

ALISTAIR BROWNLEE admitted he knew he would not challenge for gold on the Gold Coast after taking team relay silver for England.

The 29-year-old was too far adrift of Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle when he started the final leg of the relay and he, brother Jonny, Vicky Holland and Jess Learmonth had to settle for silver.

It came after a disappointing individual event for the injury-hit brothers on Thursday with Alistair finishing 10th, three places behind his brother.

Asked if team relay silver offered some consolation for missing out on a medal in the individual event, Alistair replied: “Not really. I think we’re both very disappointed about our individual performance. We would have been very disappointed if we hadn’t medalled in that today.”

Brother Jonny added: “In the individual I thought I was going to be better. I missed a lot of training because of injury but, maybe, when you haven’t got the background of training, the shorter stuff you can get away with.

“I felt very good, I couldn’t have done any more. We were always going to struggle to beat the Australians.”

England's Alistair Brownlee during the Mixed Team Relay Triathlon final. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

England's Alistair Brownlee during the Mixed Team Relay Triathlon final. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

Alistair had been nursing a calf injury ahead of the Games while Jonny suffered a femur problem in January.

“It’s been a tough month, every day waking up and being worried about the calf,” said Alistair.

“I’ve had to deal with it and being on the startline for the first time ever knowing I’m not going to win the race was pretty tough.

“I regret getting injured. A few months ago I would have been in a brilliant position to come here and be really fit and win the race.

I regret getting injured. A few months ago I would have been in a brilliant position to come here and be really fit and win the race.

Alistair Brownlee

“I was gutted about that. After struggling at the back end of last year with the hip injury I was so happy with how things were going. It (the calf problem) was completely random. I’ve made the most of it - as soft as that sounds that’s all you can do.”

It is likely to have been Alistair’s last Commonwealth Games race and he maintained he will wait until the end of the year to decide whether or not to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion said: “It’s my personal timeline. If you’re going to commit to the Olympics you have to do it 18 months out. The preparation, focus and amount of physical energy you have to put into it. That’s the deadline.”

Jonny remains determined to go to Tokyo and expects his brother to join him.

England's Jonathan Brownlee hands over to team-mate Jessica Learmonth during the Mixed Team Relay Triathlon final. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

England's Jonathan Brownlee hands over to team-mate Jessica Learmonth during the Mixed Team Relay Triathlon final. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA

He added: “I think he’ll want to go. If his body holds up and allows him to do the training, he’ll want to be there. He loves coming to these events.”

Jess Learmonth was England’s success story, coming second in the women’s individual event on Thursday, but she lost ground on Australia during her relay run and England never recovered.

They finished 52 seconds behind Australia in one hour 18.28 minutes with New Zealand a further minute adrift.

Learmonth added: “I struggle to put it into words, I never thought I’d be coming away with two medals and be able to race with these guys. It’s been unbelievable.”