Yorkshire so proud of Brownlee brothers

We talk to the Yorkshire fans who made the trip to Hyde Park (that's Hyde Park London not Leeds!) to watch Alistair and Jonny Brownlee hit the podium in the Men's triathlon event.


Alongside the sea of Union flags being waved by Team GB fans in Hyde Park on Tuesday there was another distinctive flag on display: the White Rose of York.

Fans from the historic northern county came in their droves to support Yorkshire brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee in their quest for Olympic triathlon glory – and with the boys swimming, cycling and running to respective gold and bronze medals, the Yorkshire faithful were rewarded for their effort.

Around 100 members of the Bingley Harriers – the same triathlon club of both the Brownlees – made the 200-mile coach journey down to London, leaving at 4.30am in order to take up a prime spot on Constitution Hill for the cycling leg of the race.

"It's utterly fantastic. I know Team GB have been performing well across the board but this win for Yorkshire is the icing on the cake for us," said club member Dave Potter.

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Members of the Brownlee brothers' triathlon club, the Bingley Harriers.

Another proud Bingley Harrier was Tony Kingham, a modern languages teacher from Bradford Grammar who taught the Brownlee brothers when they were at school. "They were both brilliant as pupils – both academically and sportingly. What they have achieved today is just amazing," he said.

Asked if the club will travel all the way to Rio to watch Alistair defend his gold medal at the next Olympics in four years' time, John Merrick said with a smile: "If we can get a club trip for the same price then it will not be a problem."

If such an early start for the Bingley Harriers was a sign of dedication then spare a thought for Kevin Langan and his son Nick, who camped out overnight in Hyde Park in order to ensure a good spot beside the Serpentine for the running and swimming legs.

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First to arrive - Yorkshire fans Rob Atkin, Nick Langan and Kevin Langan.

 "We arrived here last night at 11pm and slept on a park bench just over there," said Nick, a blue flag boasting the White Rose of York draped over his shoulder. "We were the first fans here at 5 o'clock this morning," he added with pride.

A few hours later at 8am, the Langans were joined by Rob Atkin – a fellow member of the same triathlon club in York – and his two young sons John and Edward, who by "total fluke" happened to set up camp just metres away.

"It went really well today," said Rob. "I expected Alistair to win it on the run. It was a bit unfortunate for Jonny but it's still a bronze medal and we'll be celebrating all the way home tonight.

"It's been brilliant down here with the Olympics and it's great to see the Yorkshire boys on the podium. Yorkshire are putting in a bid for the start of the Tour de France in 2016 and that will be amazing for us and for the whole country."

Alistair Brownlee's gold was Team GB's nineteenth of the Games – matching the host nation's Sydney 2008 gold medal tally with still five full competitive days remaining. Gold and bronze in the triathlon means Yorkshire now has 10 medals in total – which means Yorkshire has effectively joined the top ten of the medal table.

With five gold medals (from heptathlete Jessica Ennis, rowers Andrew Triggs-Hodge and Kat Copeland, cyclist Ed Clancy and Brownlee in Tuesday's triathlon) Yorkshire is now ahead of economic and sporting powerhouses such as Australia, South Africa and Japan.

Yorkshire embarrassing Australia in the London 2012 medal table is something that puts a smile on the faces of Diana and Peter Jenkins, who lived in Adelaide for eight years before returning to their native Yorkshire to retire.

"We only decided to come down here on Sunday," said Diana. "We've just been so involved in the Olympics we had to come down and it's been so amazing. I've never been to an Olympic event before and to see all these people from different nations is brilliant."

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Peter and Diana Jenkins caught a 5am train from Leeds to watch the Brownlees.

"We're so proud of the Brownlees," said Peter. "We're from a small town called Yeadon which is only a few miles away from where the brothers live in Bramhope. We often see them training. It's tremendous."

The couple woke up at 3am in order to catch the 5am train to London from Leeds. "It was well worth getting here for 8am," said Diana. "We had such a good spot with an amazing view of the lake as well as the running track and cycling."

With at least another two medals guaranteed for the county, things can't get much better for Yorkshire at London 2012.

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Riders pass fans outside Buckingham Palace.

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