Alistair Brownlee sealed his position as one of Britain’s greatest-ever sportsman as he triumphed over younger brother Jonathan for a second Olympic gold medal.
Brownlee produced a ruthless performance in the searing Brazil sun to assert his domination on a sport he has ruled since winning the world championships seven years ago
Younger brother Jonny could not keep pace in the closing five kilometres and Alistair had enough time in hand to stroll across the finish line on Copacabana beach emblazoned with a Union flag.
Jonny finished six seconds behind to upgrade his London bronze into Rio silver and he embraced his brother collapsed on the floor in a symbolic image of the Games.
By winning gold, Alistair became the first triathlete ever to defend the Olympic title in the sport’s 16-year association in the Games.
“It’s very special to retain the title,” he said.
“I’ve trained as hard as I can this year and executed it on the day.
“The record isn’t the big thing for me, It’s about turning up on the day and winning the race. Maybe the enormity of it all will sink in over the next few weeks but I’m just pleased I turned up and Jonny did it as well.”
The double medal haul moved Yorkshire into 14th place in the medal table and above Spain, Kenya and Usain Bolt’s Jamaica prior to last night’s athletics action.
White Rose athletes have so far secured four golds, five silvers and three bronze with badminton ace Marcus Ellis collecting a surprise bronze in the men’s doubles yesterday.
That figure is guaranteed to climb further tomorrow when Nicola Adams fights for gold against France fighter Sarah Ourahmoune.
Adams guaranteed herself at least a silver medal in her Olympic defence after beating long-time rival Ren Cancan of China in the semi-finals yesterday.
The Leeds fighter recovered from a sluggish start to dominate rounds two to four and earn the points decision from the judges.
Adams’ performance certainly seemed to win over the predominantly Brazilian crowd, who chanted her name throughout the contest and cheered her on her way out of the ring.
“I guess they liked my style,” added Adams. “I come into the ring smiling and happy and perhaps that’s all they want to see – someone enjoying being in Rio and enjoying their boxing.”
Ellis, from Huddersfield, and partner Chris Langridge earned bronze by defeating Biao Chai and Wei Hong 21-18, 19-21, 21-10, a day after suffering semi-final heartbreak against the Chinese pair’s team-mates Haifeng Fu and Nat Zhang.
“We are not just proud of ourselves, we are proud that we’ve managed to do it for our sport,” said Ellis.
“All the guys back home can take something from what we have done.
“We are not the best in the world, but we came here and performed to our very best. On our day, we can beat anybody, and I just hope the guys back home can take inspiration from that.”