Jonny Brownlee claimed his first gold medal having won silver in 2016 and bronze back in 2012
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Jonny Brownlee won his first gold medal in his final Olympic race as Great Britain got ‘Super Saturday’ off to a flying start.
There are 21 medals up for grabs at Tokyo 2020 today and Leeds-based Jonny completed his set of Olympic gold, silver and bronze to become our most successful ever triathlete.
Having claimed bronze in London nine years ago and silver in Rio behind his brother Alistair, Brownlee finished fifth in the individual race on Monday.
But he played a key role in Britain’s third triathlon medal of the week.
After an excellent first leg from Jess Learmonth, Brownlee broke away from his rivals, and individual silver medallists Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee maintained the advantage to claim Britain’s seventh gold of the Games.
Brownlee said: “The Olympics, I’ve completed it! It feels absolutely amazing. It’s my third Olympics and I finally walk away with gold.
“We knew coming into this race there was a lot of pressure on us, we all had to race very well and do everything right and that’s what we did.”
Learmonth added: “I can’t believe it. I was slightly nervous being in a team of Olympic medallists and I’m just so glad we executed a brilliant race. Olympic champions. It’s mental.”
Great Britain have won seven golds at Tokyo 2020. We are ahead of our medal tally from 2012 and 2016.
Taylor-Brown added: “I just tried to not panic. Jonny gave me such a big lead. I just knew I had a bit of time to chill out and not stress too much about it, as that’s when things can go very wrong.
“I knew I had to give everything that last run lap and give as big of a gap as I could for Yee boy!”
Londoner Yee, who came back from a serious accident in which he suffered a punctured lung, added: “I was pretty scared taking over.
“These guys had done the perfect race up to that point and we had the three best people doing each leg so I just wanted to do it justice. In my mind there was no way I was going to give less than try to get the win.
“When Louis came past I knew I just had to get on there. I know my run’s my strength so I just went for it.
“It’s amazing to be here and do it with these great guys.”
He was left with broken ribs, vertebrae and the collapsed lung in a high-speed bike crash during a 2018 ITU Triathlon World Cup event in Cagliari, Italy.
“I hope I can serve as inspiration to people to show this is possible,” he said.
Team GB has a proud history when it comes to Olympic triathlon. Alistair Brownlee won gold at the previous two Games.
But Jonny has stepped out of his shadow today.
British Triathlon Performance Director Mike Cavendish says all four athletes “executed it perfectly”.
“We planned for a long time for this,” he says. “We felt we had the four best athletes, the challenge was dampening expectations.
“We are fortunate we have such strength in depth across the board.”
Great Britain won silver in the men’s individual, silver in the women’s and gold in the relay to become a triathlon ‘superpower’.