Team GB wins GOLD in mixed triathlon relay after Alex Yee’s incredible late run wins victory and drives United States late as Jonny Brownlee FINALLY becomes Olympic Champion
- Team GB triumphed in the mixed triathlon relay as they took the US to gold
- Alex Yee took the top podium place to beat the Americans by 14 seconds
- It ensures that Jonny Brownlee will win his first Olympic gold to join his brother
One gloriously sunny morning, Jonny Brownlee stepped out of a shadow and into a golden glow. It took a lot of swimming, biking and running to get to this point, but eventually the little brother has joined the family business of winning Olympic titles.
It wasn’t the kind of individual crown won twice by his older sibling Alistair, but who cares? What a wonderful story in a Games that has already thrown its share.
Bronze in London 2012, silver in Rio de Janeiro four years later, and here the succession dream seemed fulfilled when he finished fifth in the individual. But he stormed back on Saturday morning in the team relay, part of a fantastic four that included Jess Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee.
Team GB won gold in the mixed triathlon relay after a great effort from Alex Yee in Tokyo
He saw the British team of Jonny Brownlee (L), Jessica Learmonth (C) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (R) win 14 seconds ahead of the US.
With Yee and Taylor-Brown winning silver medals in the past week, they were always favorites to reach the top step. And with Brownlee breaking the pack on its run, there were only sporadic moments late when it seemed like they’d have to settle for a lesser metallic shade.
Short moments. Irrelevant moments. When it was all done, with Yee finishing the final run with 14 seconds of daylight for the Americans in silver, Brownlee was the first to wrap him in a hug.
At 31, Brownlee will now call it a day at this level of competition. A brilliant finale and one of the most heartwarming sights of these Olympics.
Brownlee said, ‘Olympic Games? Have it completed. It feels absolutely amazing. It’s my third Olympics and I finally have gold.’
Jonny Brownlee joked that he ‘completed’ the Olympics after finally getting a gold medal
Learmonth set the quartet on track, both through the 300m swim and the 6.8km ride. Despite the run being her lesser suit, Learmonth was only two seconds back in third when she tapped in Jonny Brownlee.
He was in the group of four through the swim and lost speed for a moment when his foot slipped off his pedal after transitioning to the bike. But he was embedded in the US, Germany and the Netherlands and then took an early lead in the run. He broke a nerve to reach that top step, and by the time he handed it to Georgia Taylor-Brown, he had earned a nine-second lead. A huge effort.
With the silver medalists Taylor-Brown and Yee in the individual events, Great Britain had the best cards. The lead grew considerably through Taylor-Brown’s ride, to 23 seconds at one point, but by the time she switched to trainers, it had fallen to 11. Given the strength of her run, it was a healthy lead, but a small drop in momentum.
Yee falls to the ground after crossing the finish line while being congratulated by teammates
She stretched it to 21, giving Yee some breathing room. He was 17 seconds ahead of his bike, but the chase was led by the world’s number 1 Vincent Luis from France and the American Morgan Pearson. They could work as a team and share the burden, but Yee was on his own.
They brought him in by one meter at a time and with one lap to go, Luis came alongside. In fact, Yee and Luis even went into transition, and as an international runner, Yee still had a trick to play, but Pearson and Luis are fast. Very quick. It was a battle for gold.
Yee got a 50m lead at the end of the first lap of the run, which is a big lead in this smaller size. Luis and Pearson attacked and pushed, but the latter couldn’t. He took silver, Luis had bronze. Great Britain and Brownlee had gold.