Alistair Brownlee has revealed that he planned to stop short of the triathlon finish line in London ’s Hyde Park last week to wait for brother Jonny for a fraternal embrace before completing the 10,000 metre final leg of the race just a metre ahead.
The newly-crowned Olympic triathlon champion won gold 11 seconds ahead of Spain’s Javier Gomez with younger brother Jonny claiming bronze a further 20 seconds behind, having served a 15-second time penalty, so the plan did not bear fruition.
However, Alistair, 24, had it all worked out. “We knew we couldn’t cross the line together because it would have contravened regulations and also would have been impossible to make it a tie so the plan was for me to stop a few metres before the finish line and wait for Jonny to catch me up.
“Then we would have embraced and celebrated before I, as the obvious race winner, would have jogged just ahead of Jonny to the finish line. It would have been a very special moment for us if that had taken place, but winning gold and bronze was very special any way.
“Of course there was always the danger that Jonny would have ran straight past me to win, but if he’d tried I would have tripped him up.”
Gomez ruined that plan but cannot prevent Alistair’s next idea, to run in the 10,000 metres at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after astonishing the sporting world by completing the 10K in Tuesday’s triathlon in 29 minutes and 7 seconds, despite stopping to collect a flag and walk the final few metres.
“I’d love to compete in the 10K at the Commonwealths,” he revealed, committing himself further than at any point during the week.
“There’s no way I’d ever turn my back on the triathlon but it would be a welcome break from just training for the tri, and it could be part of my overall training in any case. I’m 24, I’m Olympic and world champion, so it would be nice to try something different.”
“I reckon I could get down to the lower 28 minute mark which would be good enough for me to represent England at the Commonwealths, I’d hope. Providing the time-table allows it I’d like to give it a shot. The qualifying requirement for the 10K in Glasgow is not massively quick so it is a target.”
The Brownlees could dominate the Commonwealth Games with both gunning for the title separately as well as teaming up to win team gold for England . They plan to do the same at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro too, especially if the IOC ratify a move to add the team competition to the individual in the Olympic triathlon, a decision expected next year.
But if Jonny, 22, hopes his elder brother makes way for him in Rio then his hopes were last night dashed.
“I wouldn’t be disappointed if the results were reversed and Jonny became Olympic champion in 2016 and I won bronze, but I’d be happier if I defended my title successfully,” Alistair explained. “I certainly won’t be moving aside for my brother. He’ll have to beat me.”
Brownlee also called for the 15-second penalty rule to be scrapped from the triathlon. In the end it did not cost Jonny, penalised for mounting his bike too early, his bronze, nor a silver due to Gomez’s 20-second final advantage, but the Olympic champion still wishes to see the law removed.
“Jonny gained absolutely no advantage from getting on his bike a few inches away from where he should have, but it could have cost him the silver or bronze. There’s no point in it whatsoever because if the sport’s not broke why fix it. I don’t know of any other triathlete who believes the penalty should stay in the sport. Hopefully after this the authorities can look at it and remove the law.”
After returning home to Bramhope tomorrow thanks to a helicopter laid on for them before a celebratory homecoming in Leeds city centre the Brownlees will concentrate on Jonny becoming world champion at the end of a year of world series events. Injury has prevented Alistair from defending his world title so now the plan is to help his brother take over the title.
“There’s a couple of events left, starting in Stockhom in a fortnight, and then Auckland in October, and I hope to be able to help my brother become world champion,” he added. “For him to be that and me to be Olympic champion would make it a very special year.”