Jonny Brownlee’s long wait for Olympic gold ends with Tokyo swansong


n his last Olympic race, Jonny Brownlee finally ended his wait for gold.

Third in London and second in Rio, he had too often played the role of Alistair’s younger brother.

In Tokyo, he acted every bit British Triathlon’s elder statesman, completing a stunning second leg as Britain won gold in the first ever mixed team relay.

And it acted as a proverbial passing of the baton to Alex Yee, who was the man to cross the finishing line. As a young kid, he had lined the streets of London 2012 to watch the Brownlee brothers compete.

In a nice quirk to Saturday’s race, he had lso been inspired by the man he was racing for gold, Vincent Luis, as much as his countrymen, revealing to the Frenchman he had requested his help in getting started in the sport post-London 2012.

A few days later, a package arrived in the post with French kit from Luis, who only found out the recipient of the post for the first time after a captivating Olympic final.

Luis had pulled an unbelievable shift to catch up with Yee and be level pegging going into the run, raising question marks that Brownlee’s Olympic dream would end with another silver.

Oh Yee of little faith – the young Briton produced a turn of speed in the opening metres to make the two-kilometre run akin to a time trial to gold.

For Brownlee, it was particularly poignant as he completed the clean sweep of medals, bronze, silver and now gold.

“If someone had said at the start of my international career I’d have three Olympic medals and three different colours, I’d have taken that,” he said. “It’s super special. The way we all raced today was amazing. We didn’t make any mistakes. To finally get a gold medal, I’m quite emotional.”

Asked to pick the person he least would have wanted to race against in those final 2km, Brownlee picked Yee. Watching on, he knew it would equate to a seventh gold medal of these Games for Team GB.

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