Jonny Brownlee and Alex Yee switch focus to Birmingham 2022

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Jonny Brownlee and Alex Yee both said the Commonwealth Games was their main focus this year after being named alongside Georgia Taylor-Brown and Sophie Coldwell in Team England’s triathlon line-up.

Birmingham 2022 takes place from July 28-August 8 and triathlon will be the first medal event on the programme at Sutton Park.

Yee told the PA news agency: “We’re really fortunate to have the Commonwealth Games this year, I think it’s come at a good time, kind of continuing on from the Olympics last year and keeping a bit of that momentum.

“So for me I’m really excited. I’d say my biggest goal this year is to perform better and major championships at home are almost a once-in-a-lifetime thing, unless you’re Jonny!”

Yee, 23, won mixed relay gold and silver in the men’s individual event at Tokyo 2020 before finishing third overall in the 2021 World Championships Series.

“I’m really excited to go out and race and in front of big crowds in Birmingham as well,” he added.

“I’ve definitely put a lot of effort and thought into planning my race schedule around the Commonwealth Games, so I’d love to race to the best of my ability there.”

Jonny Brownlee finished fifth last summer in the men’s triathlon at Tokyo 2020
Jonny Brownlee finished fifth last summer in the men’s triathlon at Tokyo 2020 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Brownlee, 31, won gold in the mixed relay in his first Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

The 2012 individual world champion, who also won individual bronze and silver at London 2012 and Rio 2016 respectively, also claimed gold in the mixed relay at Tokyo 2020.

Great Britain’s team – Brownlee, Yee, Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth – were all awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list earlier this month for their services to triathlon.

Brownlee told PA: “I’ve been unbelievably fortunate in my career to be able to compete at a home Olympics, a kind-of-home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and now a real home Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. So like Alex, it will be the main focus of my year.

Sophie Coldwell, centre, has targeted her first major championship medal at Birmingham 2022
Sophie Coldwell, centre, has targeted her first major championship medal at Birmingham 2022 (Danny Lawson/PA)

“I thought Tokyo was my last major games if I’m honest. If you’d have asked me before Tokyo I would have said I would definitely not be going to the Commonwealth Games.

“I would love to be there in Paris in three years’ time if I can be competitive still, but I’m pretty sure Birmingham will be my last Commonwealths.”

Former Loughborough University student Coldwell, 23, who finished fifth in the overall standings in last year’s World Championships Series, has also prioritised Birmingham 2022.

She told PA: “I obviously don’t have any medals at major championships, so I really want to put myself in a position to deliver that.

“That’s my A-plus race for the year and everything is geared around that and other races I do or don’t do will be tailored to deliver a performance in Birmingham.”

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