Auck-ward Moment for Brownlees
The ITU World Triathlon Championship comes to a dramatic close this weekend as Olympic Bronze medallist Jonathan Brownlee prepares to race for the series title.
Leeds University alumnus and Olympian Jonny Brownlee will compete alongside 3,000 international triathletes at the final stage of the World Series in Auckland, New Zealand on Sunday. Jonny hopes to continue the success of his elder brother, Alistair, who won Gold at the London Games and was world champion in 2011.
Currently 1st in the world rankings, younger brother Jonny only needs to secure a podium finish to be crowned champion, leading the triathlon series table by 180 points. A consistently strong performance throughout the season in San Diego, Madrid and Stockholm has placed Jonny as race leader, commenting: “It’s an honour to be thought of as the favourite, but there is a job to be done this weekend and I am not underestimating the competition or the conditions. This is going to be a tough race on a challenging course against athletes who all want to end their seasons on a high”.
A significant challenge is expected from Olympic Silver medallist Javier Gomez of Spain, ranked 2nd in the World Series. Gomez will try to eclipse Jonny and deny him the photo finish he deserves. The elite course at Auckland plays to Brownlee’s advantage however, involving a technical and hilly bike course where Jonny will look to make headway over his Spanish rival.
The athletes must complete a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run in the fastest possible time. During the olympics all three medallists surprised the world with the speed of their final 10km run. Alistair clocked a time only two minutes slower than that of gold medal-winner Mo Farah. Could a possible conversion for the brothers be in the works for Rio 2016?
The Leeds-born Brownlee brothers live and train in Yorkshire full-time, at the British Triathlon Federation’s High Performance Centre at Leeds Met Carnegie. Alistair suffered from an Achilles injury earlier in the year and has been unable to defend his world title, having not completed enough races. He instead focused on a winning performance in London’s Hyde Park at the Olympic Games.
If Jonny can seal a victory in Auckland on Sunday, it will leave a lasting Brownlee stamp on the sport’s history. No doubt there
will be many triathletes, Jonny included, who will be breathing a sigh of relief upon hearing that the older Brownlee will not be competing. The siblings still insist that their rivalry is just professional, but Jonny must be looking forward to his taste of gold.
Sign up now for the Edge Sports Centre’s Indoor Super Sprint Triathlon on November 16 & 17 in aid of Children in Need.