BRITAIN’S Alistair Brownlee cemented his reputation as the world’s leading triathlete by claiming gold in Hyde Park yesterday, but blasted officials for handing brother Jonny a penalty that prevented the Yorkshiremen from completing an extraordinary one-two.
World champion Alistair, 24, sped away from silver medal winner Javier Gomez in the closing stages of the 10km run around the Serpentine to claim Britain’s first Olympic triathlon medal and add to Team GB’s record breaking haul.
Younger sibling Jonny, 22, might have pushed Gomez harder but for a 15-second penalty for mounting his bike too early following the swim, and needed medical attention after straining every sinew to finish just 20 seconds behind the Spaniard.
“Jonny’s foot was apparently on the line today and to get a 15-second penalty for that is just ridiculous,” said Alistair. “Triathlon is a fantastically pure sport. To bring a judge’s decision into a sport like that for me almost completely ruins it.”
Jonny, who took his penalty during the run after he, his brother and two-time world champions Gomez had broken clear of the field, admitted mistakenly thinking Alistair had earned the penalty instead.
“I saw the number 31 and I thought it was Alistair and I thought ‘Alistair, you idiot, you’ve got a penalty’. I looked down at my arm and I thought ‘oh no, it’s me’,” he said. “I was actually quite pleased to stop for 15 seconds to be honest because I was quite tired.”
Alistair, who overcame an Achilles injury to compete at London 2012, ran his 10km just over a minute slower than Mo Farah did to win 10,000m gold on Saturday, and said he was considering trying out on the track. “I think I’ll be looking at doing some slightly different things over the next couple of years,” he added. “We have the Common-wealth Games in two years’ time, I could have a crack at the 10km.”