Exclusive: Alistair Brownlee picks his biggest threat to Olympic glory - his brother

By Tom Degun

February 15 - Alistair Brownlee (pictured right), the winner of the 2009 ITU Triathlon World Championship, has revealed that the greatest threat to his domination of the sport could in fact be his younger brother Jonathan (left).

The unstoppable Alastair is currently ranked as the world’s best triathlete and, in 2009, the 21-year-old astonishingly won all five of the  ITU World Championship Series events in which he competed.

However, his younger brother Jonathan is soon set to join his older brother in the senior ranks and Alistair feels that his 19-year-old sibling - who is the 2009 European Junior champion and ITU Junior World Championship silver medalist - could potentially prove his toughest opponent.

Alistair Brownlee told insidethegames: "Jonathan has the ability to be one of the very best in this sport and I think he will make the transition from juniors to seniors very well.

"I train with him everyday and if he can keep improving at the rate he is going, there is no reason why he can’t reach the very top like I have and even prove my biggest threat."

Jonathan Brownlee said: "There is a lot of pressure on me after what Alistair has achieved because everyone is expecting me to do the same thing in the seniors.

"But it fills me with confidence seeing what he has done at senior level and how dominant he has been in the sport because I know if he can do that, there is a good chance that I can do it as well as we are similar in build and have similar strengths.

"The only problem is that every time I start catching him, he seems to get faster but I guess that happens at this age and hopefully by 2012, I can be at the very top challenging him and we can both be going for gold at the Olympics."

There are few doubts that both brothers are strong contenders for gold in London but particularly Alistair (pictured) after his stunning 2009, where he consistently destroyed world-class fields in every event he entered.

However, Alistair admits that it will be hard to match his 2009 achievements in 2010.

He said: "Obviously after the year I had in 2009, it will be difficult to top that.

"But I know that I can definitely improve and with a few technical adjustments, I feel I can still get a lot better in the coming years as I am only 21 years old."

Alistair’s comments will no doubt worry his rivals, particularly with the Olympics looming on the horizon.

He said: "London 2012 will be amazing and it is definitely a long term goal for me but right now, it is just one triathlon at a time.

"I have a different pressure on me now that I am at the top and everyone is gunning for me but I quite like that pressure and I feel like you have to earn that pressure.

"Hopefully I can keep doing what I am doing up to London 2012."

Both of the brothers are currently promoting the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships, which is supported by Yorkshire Forward, the Regional Development Agency for Yorkshire and the Humber.

The Championships, which are due to take place March 10 to 14 in Sheffield, will attract 6,000 students to compete across 26 sports. 

The sports will be staged in some of the best sporting facilities the UK has to offer including the English Institute of Sport, Ponds Forge and Don Valley Stadium.

Contact the writer of this story at tom.degun@insidethegames.biz

Related stories
December 2009:
Brownlee leads British Triathlon World Class Performance Programme
December 2009: British Triathlon upset Brownlee overlooked by BBC
November 2009: Brownlee's achievements recognised with top Olympic award
October 2009: Brownlee has set the bar very high admits chief rival
October 2009: Brownlee brothers given civic reception by Leeds

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