Commonwealth Games: Surfing and nature trails – but Brownlees mean business

Alistair Brownlee poses during the squad announcement for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Bodington Fields and Brownlee Centre, Leeds. (Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)
Alistair Brownlee poses during the squad announcement for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Bodington Fields and Brownlee Centre, Leeds. (Picture: Richard Sellers/PA Wire)
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ALISTAIR and Jonny Brownlee may have been soaking up the atmosphere on the Gold Coast for a month now – but the English duo insist they mean business as they go for gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Alistair, 29, led his brother Jonny, 27, home in Glasgow four years ago, a Brownlee and England one-two – and now the double act have a repeat performance on their mind in Australia. Injuries and an indifferent start to the season mean the Brownlee brothers won’t start as gold medal certainties in Australia.

But after embracing the atmosphere and culture on the Gold Coast over the last month; the brothers admit they are pumped and hungry for success.

Alistair said: “We’ve both been here for a few weeks already up on the Sunshine coast and it’s been really good and great to experience a bit of Queensland culture.

“We’ve enjoyed the beach, had a go at surfing, seen a bit of the wildlife and been to a few restaurants so it has been good.

“We have trained hard, prepared as well as we can and we’re looking forward to competing now.”

Members of Team England's triathlon squad for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. Back row from left, Jess Learmonth, Alistair Brownlee, Tom Bishop. Front Lizzie Tench. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Members of Team England's triathlon squad for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Leeds Triathlon Centre. Back row from left, Jess Learmonth, Alistair Brownlee, Tom Bishop. Front Lizzie Tench. (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

Of course, their preparation has been far more than just exploring beaches and surfing, as Jonny was keen to point out.

He said: “It has been pretty intense training here. We’ve been here to get used to the heat and get over the time difference, but also to do some fast training that you can’t do at home.

“It has been hard, but we’ve trained pretty well and the intensity will actually decrease now that we’re a few days away from competing.”

Double Olympic champion Alistair underwent a hip operation last year and has struggled with a calf niggle in the lead up to the Games, while Jonny had a little injury of his own, although both of them are doing all they can to be competitive.

We have trained hard, prepared as well as we can and we’re looking forward to competing now.

Alistair Brownlee

Alistair said: “I’m happy that I’m here and you never know in the race, I’ve just got to go out and try and race to the best of my ability on the day.”

The Brownlees are expecting around 10 family members to be cheering them on from the grandstand and the two Yorkshiremen are proud to represent Team England. Alistair said: “It’s a big honour every time you pull on a national jersey and it should be like that, remembering right back to the first times when we were 13 or 14. You can become a bit blasé about it, but you shouldn’t.”

European champion Jess Learmonth from Wetherby is one to watch in the women’s race while Leeds Triathlon Centre’s Tom Bishop will provide support for the Brownlees.