Britain’s two-time Olympic triathlon gold medallist Alistair Brownlee will not get the opportunity to try to win a third at the rearranged Games in Tokyo after the final place on his country’s team was awarded to Alex Yee.
The announcement today by the British Olympic Association (BOA), while not unexpected, still feels like the end of an era for one of the country’s most charismatic competitors.
Brownlee has struggled with an ankle injury this season and was disqualified from the World Triathlon Series race in Leeds last week for “ducking” a rival swimmer as 23-year-old Yee went on to win the race.
Yee has now officially been named alongside Jonny Brownlee, Alistair’s brother who had finished third behind him at London 2012 and second at Rio 2016.
"I have been very fortunate to have Alistair next to me on the start-line in the last two Olympics and without him it is going to feel very, very different," said Jonny Brownlee.
"But I like to think that I will be able to deal with it and it will hopefully be my time to shine now.
"These Olympics are going to be so different, and this is just another little difference in the grand scheme of things.
"Alistair will still be there as someone to talk to because there's no-one better to seek advice from than the double Olympic champion.
"I'll ask him when I have doubts about whether I'm training right, whether I've done things right and how I can do things better."
The 33-year-old Alistair Brownlee is now expected to concentrate on longer races, including the ironman.
"I think Ali is relieved the whole process is over now, the last few months have been turmoil for him with his injury, and he can now focus on surgery and rehabilitation," said Jonny Bronwlee.
"And he will always be on the end of the phone.”
Vicky Holland, Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown will compete in the women’s race, the BOA announced.
The men’s race is due to take place on July 26, followed by the women’s the following day and the mixed relay on July 31.
"I was massively inspired after watching London 2012 in my home city, and now to be selected to represent Team GB after the delay, COVID and the challenges everyone has been through, I am delighted," Yee said.
"It’s been a whirlwind since Leeds last weekend and it’s all coming round pretty quickly.
"I’m going to get my head down for the next few weeks and prepare as best I can."
Alistair Brownlee, though, could still have something to celebrate at Tokyo 2020.
He is one of 30 candidates standing for election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with the results due to be announced towards the end of the Games.