The achievement of brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee in winning gold and bronze medals in today’s triathlon at the London 2012 Olympic Games has been hailed as “one of the greatest successes in the history of Leeds sport”.
The pair, who live in Bramhope in Leeds, confirmed their status as two of the world’s leading triathletes as 24-year-old Alistair took the gold medal, with his 22-year-old younger brother Jonathan taking bronze in the Olympic event which took place in and around Hyde Park.
Reflecting on their success, the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ann Castle said:
“We have just seen what must be one of the greatest successes in the history of sport in Leeds. What Alistair and Jonathan have achieved today is phenomenal. For two brothers to win gold and bronze in such a gruelling event like the triathlon in their home Olympic Games is absolutely amazing.
“On behalf of everyone in the city I pass on our admiration and congratulations to Alistair and Jonathan. Their dedication and commitment to their sport is astonishing, and they are perfect ambassadors and role models for Leeds. It is wonderful to see that rewarded with this well-deserved success. We cannot wait to give them a heroes’ welcome when they come back to Leeds to celebrate.”
The brothers went into the race as hot favourites to be on the medal podium, with Alistair being the reigning World Triathlon Series champion and Jonathan ending the 2011 season in his highest-ever second spot.
Alistair’s build-up to London 2012 was hindered by an Achilles injury earlier in the year, but he was able to recover and return to his best form in time for the Games. In Alistair’s absence Jonathan had won two consecutive World Triathlon Series events, but his older brother confirmed he had successfully overcome his injury by leading the Great Britain pair home in a one-two on his return to full action in Austria in June.
The brothers’ achievement is a great reflection of the sports facilities in Leeds, as they train at the John Charles Centre for Sport, University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University to hone their skills in each discipline of the sport which involves swimming, cycling and running.
The Brownlees both studied at the University of Leeds, with Alistair graduating in 2009 with a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science and Jonathan graduating this Summer with a BA in History.
For more information on Leeds and its work towards the London 2012 Games, visit www.leedsgold.co.uk
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