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Alistair Brownlee believes his brother Jonny has a cracking shot of keeping the Olympic title in the family in Tokyo this summer, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.
Alistair, who won gold in the men’s event at both the London and Rio games, won’t defend his title in Japan after an injury hampered his selection hopes.
However, Jonny has qualified for the event along with fellow Brit Alex Yee, who won his first World Triathlon Series event in Leeds earlier this year.
Alistair admitted that although it will be strange to be seeing his younger brother compete without also being on the start line, he is happy to be a fan.
The 33-year-old, who is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo, said: “I am really looking forward to supporting. I had a great run at the Olympics and am going to really enjoy watching and cheering him on.
“Jonny has a great chance of a gold. I think it is fair to say he is not going in as the favourite, like in past competitions, but the race is wide open. In fact I’m not sure there is a standout favourite.
“He is in great shape, his training has gone well, so I don’t see why he can’t do something special. I think he is in with a great shot of winning a medal.
“I guess it will be strange for me, but I am genuinely looking forward to spectating. For Jonny it won’t be too usual, we have had a lot of races outside of the Olympics where we have raced together not at the same time.
“So I think he will still be fine, and is a great place to perform.”
Alistair admitted earlier this year he took a gamble in his own bid to be fit for the Games, having suffered a serious ankle injury that he had to have surgery on.
Despite knowing he wouldn’t be in the same peak physical condition that he was in for the London or Rio Games, the elder sibling made a brave attempt to make the team and defend his title.
It didn’t quite go to plan, but thankfully his rehab is on track.
He added: “The ankle is doing okay now. It is a little sore when I stand up too long but is fine really.
“The operation was about a month ago now, so I feel like I am doing ok.
“I can walk around and ride my bike a bit, doing a bit of exercise is obviously always important to me.
“So I am looking forward to being able to train hard soon.
“From now on I am just going to focus on the long-distance triathlon, Ironman and other events, when I get back to full fitness.
“At the moment I am also focusing on going to Tokyo to campaign to be voted for the athlete commission (a programme linking athletes to the governing body) on the IOC, so I am working hard on that project and really enjoying it.”
Alistair Brownlee is working with Purplebricks to encourage the nation to get behind Team GB on their journey to Tokyo with the same amazing home support as London 2012. Visit @PurplebricksUK. To enter the draw to receive one of 2,020 limited edition prints, visit https://page.purplebricks.co.uk/teamgb_homesupport/