Alistair Brownlee has revealed he will try to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ©Getty Images

Britain's Alistair Brownlee has performed a U-turn on his decision to miss Tokyo 2020, announcing that he will now try for a third Olympic title in the Japanese capital.

The 31-year-old, who claimed Olympic gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, previously said he would not compete at the next edition of the Games. 

He switched his focus to Ironman competitions instead, but an injury-free year encouraged him to return to triathlon for the Olympics, the BBC Sport reported.  

"A year ago I wouldn't be doing this, because I knew I couldn't cope with another bad injury," he said. 

"I just wanted to be able to run and compete and enjoy it.

"But in the past year I haven't been injured. 

"I've really enjoyed training and competing, and preparing to compete.

"And so the decision crept up on me a bit - I want to go to another Olympics, and I want to see what I might be able to do."

Brownlee earned his last World Triathlon Series victory in his hometown of Leeds in June 2017, while his last appearance in the competition came last June in the same location, but he could only finish 44th. 

He confirmed that he will now be returning to the World Series.

"I need to look at it one step at a time," he said. 

"Do some World Series racing, see how competitive I am. 

"Try to qualify, see how that goes."

Alistair Brownlee won his first Olympic gold at a home Games, London 2012 ©Getty Images
Alistair Brownlee won his first Olympic gold at a home Games, London 2012 ©Getty Images

Brownlee discussed the prospect of racing in the Tokyo heat, something of a contentious subject in the build-up to the Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) controversially decided to move the marathon and race-walk events more than 800 kilometres to Sapporo due to concerns over rising heat in August. 

"I do think that might be a bit of an advantage to me, because it makes the race tougher and slower," he said.

"A big physiological drag.

"It will reward really good preparation, being a bit out of the box in how you prepare. 

"I've done a lot of experimentation with heat in the past year, so I think that will help. 

"If it were a cool-climate fast race like London, that would be harder for me.

"The one thing I'm not worried about is the racing part, just get me to the start line in decent shape."

Brownlee is also bidding to be elected to the IOC Athletes' Commission, having been proposed by the British Olympic Association in November. 

Four athletes from four different sports will be elected by secret ballot at Tokyo 2020 and will automatically become members of the IOC.

Brownlee is already a member of the newly formed Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Athletes' Advisory Committee.