Team GB have equalled their gold medal haul from Beijing with five days to spare as Alistair Brownlee romped to victory in the men’s triathlon.
The Yorkshireman won the gruelling race in an Olympic record time, triumphing over Spaniard Javier Gomez by 11 seconds, while the Brit’s younger brother Jonny recovered from a time penalty to claim bronze.
After a steady swim and bike ride, the three favourites broke away early on the run, and it was Alistair who had enough in the tank complete the 10km finale with a comfortable cushion.
Twenty-two-year-old Jonny finished 31 seconds behind his elder sibling, having served a 15 second penalty for mounting his bike too early after completing the 1500m swim effortlessly.
The Brownlees had GB teammate Stuart Hayes to thank for his efforts in protecting the duo in the early stages, as he sacrificed his own race to set them on their way.
A bold attack from the victor towards the end of the 43km bike ride didn’t stick, but that didn’t deter the man who has dominated the sport over the last four years.
In fact, Alistair’s run was less than two minutes slower than fellow countryman Mo Farah, who was triumphant in the men’s 10km on Saturday, an amazing achievement considering the two disciplines completed beforehand.
Third-placed Jonny arguably could have challenged for silver if it wasn’t for his misjudgement; but nevertheless the result marked the first time that brothers had medalled in the same event since the Searles managed the same feat in the 1992 Games.
Rarely has a gold medal brought about so many ‘firsts’, as GB had never brought home a triathlon medal before today, and the Brownlees are perfectly placed to push each other towards further success.