August 3 - Britain's triathletes are preparing for similar negative tactics from rival teams to the ones which frustrated the home men's cycling road race team at London 2012 last Saturday (July 28).
Asked if he thought there was a possibility of other nations "ganging up" on the strong home teams, Malcolm Brown, British Triathlon's Olympic performance manager, responded: "It's a possibility, yes.
"I'm assuming that it will happen at some stage.
"We just have to be ready for it.
"But it is not as easy as it might seem to do that.
"Triathlon is essentially an individual sport where people tend to travel and train separately."
With Britain's current world champion Helen Jenkins (pictured top, left) due to challenge for gold tomorrow at the course in and around Hyde Park, and with the men preparing for Tuesday's (July 7) competition, Brown insisted that such tactics would not be employed by the British team.
"Sometimes it can get nasty in the water, with individuals blocking each other," he explained.
"But emotionally, blocking over a period of time is not something we are interested in.
"We are going to play by the rules.
"I wouldn't be here if that was not the case."
Britain has a full complement of three riders in the men's and women's races, and their team includes current world champions Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee, as well as world number two Jonathan Brownlee.
Controversially, Britain selected riders tasked specifically with protecting the interests of the medal contenders when they named their team in June.
Established performers including Liz Blatchford and former world champion Tim Don were left out and places went to two "domestiques" – Stuart Hayes, whose cycling is his greatest strength, and 20-year-old Lucy Hall, noted for speed on the bike and in the swim.
Vicky Holland is the third named Briton.
"We want the race to be hard in all three disciplines if possible," said Jenkins.
"The aim for British Triathlon is to win a medal and with the three of us working together we are more likely to do that, the three of us are committed to that.
"We are a team and will be approaching the race as a team.
"With it being a free event there is so much potential for huge support, it could be a bit overwhelming but very exciting at the same time.
"Every athlete has been saying how phenomenal the support has been, we have to make the most of that.
"It gives me great confidence to know that I have won on this course before.
"Also winning in San Diego earlier this year helped.
"I have had a lot of seconds and thirds over the years but to step on top of the podium a few times now has given me the confidence to know that if I get it right on the day I can win."
While the likes of Jenkins or the Brownlees will be able to benefit on occasion from "drafting" as they ride behind their "domestiques" – that is, gaining an aerodynamic advantage by getting in the slipstream – Brown is reluctant to identify that as the main advantage of support riders.
"I'm not so convinced about that," he said.
"Sometimes it is a question of keeping the pace high if required, or at other times keeping the pace low.
"We have worked on a number of scenarios in conjunction with our head women's coach, Glenn Cook."
While Brown sympathised with the position of those who had missed selection under the policy which was determined three years ago, he added: "A number of other federations have said it is a brave move made by the British selectors and applauded them for doing it."
But Brown added that the prospect of numerous other countries adopting similar policies in future years could be limited by the fact that there were only relatively few strong enough nations to guarantee the full team membership required for such adjustments to be a practical option.
"You've got to get at least two qualified in a team, and ideally three," he said.
Brown added that the overall shape of the policy was dictated ultimately not by British Triathlon, but by the body providing its funding – UK Sport.
"If UK Sport say they will reward you in the next four years if you win a medal, you have to make winning a medal your priority," he said.
"Another country might be looking for a medal input, but also a development input, which would mean a different approach to things.
"The sport is shaped by the wider influences that come to bear on it."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
July 2012: London 2012 triathlon start lists confirmed
June 2012: Highest number of countries ever qualify for Olympic triathlon
June 2012: Team GB ignores top-ranked triathletes to pick domestiques for London 2012