While any Olympic event makes history, this year's Rio Olympics marked a special moment for triathlon as Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee became the first person to defend a gold medal.
After a four-year wait, it was the men who opened proceedings at Fort Copacabana, and Alistair Brownlee took the opportunity to tear up the tough Rio course with a demonstration of controlled power and endurance that cemented his place as the greatest-ever short-course triathlete. Younger brother Jonny followed in his brother’s footsteps, literally, and went one better than London 2012, to complete the Yorkshire quinella. South Africa’s Henri Schoeman surprised everyone by making his first-ever elite podium to grab bronze.
The Brownlee brothers dominated from the gun and made racing at the Olympic Games appear like a stroll in the park. But looks can be deceiving, as the road to Rio immortality had been anything but smooth for the pair.
“I’ve had to go through hell this year to get here, but I made it. I had ankle surgery at the end of August, hadn’t run until early December and wasn’t running pain free until the new year,” he said.
Having comeback from injury and experiencing Olympic history alongside his younger brother, the Brownlee story is nothing short of inspiring.
1. Alistair Brownlee (GB) 01:45:01
2. Jonathan Brownlee (GB) 01:45:07
3. Henri Schoeman (RSA) 01:45:43
4. Richard Murray (RSA) 01:45:50
5. Joao Pereira (POR) 01:45:52
ICYMI: The Brownlee brother's heart clenching moment where Alistair helped Jonny finish the race at WTS Cozumel.
Read the full story by Noel McMahon in the October 2016 edition of Triathlon Multisport Magazine.
Images by Delly Carr.