Ali & Jonny Brownlee
Ali & Jonny Brownlee talk Commonwealths relay gold
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Interview with Ali & Jonny Brownlee

The brothers talk Commonwealth relay gold success and plans for the future...

We caught up with the Brownlee brothers immediately after adding the Commonwealth gold for mixed relay to their trophy cabinet. Here's what they said on today's experience, the possibility of relays at the Olympics and what's next for the Holmfirth brothers...

On the responsibility to other team members in a relay...
Jonny: Yeah, there’s a bit more pressure but I’m used to that now. I’ve raced in relays since I was a kid and I always quite enjoyed it. But you just try your best. There’s a lot of enjoyment in a relay, it’s good.

On racing a relay so soon after the individual races…
JB: It’s been a tough few days, this is the first time I’ve raced a mixed relay after a full Olympic distance race and it was tough because Thursday was a really tough day. We didn’t prepare for the heat because who would have thought it would be that hot? It was the hottest race I’ve done this year and we’ve been in some hot countries. So we didn’t prepare for that and it made it really hard but yeah, I enjoyed it. It’s been a good few days.

On whether racing again so soon is a good or bad thing…
JB: It’s not a bad thing for an athlete having one day to recover and then racing again whereas if you were to have eight or nine days away you’d have to train again, put in that effort, whereas here we just do two in one go. We don’t have to be here for too long either if we don’t want to be, we can go and do other things.

On how it feels to win gold…
JB: It’s nice. I want to win [gold] but I’m usually beaten by Alistair! To get a gold medal is special. We race together all the time but to be able to share it as a team is really good. It’s fantastic and we both really enjoy it. We’ve raced so many relays over the years and really enjoy doing it, so it’s fantastic to be able to do it on a major stage like today.

On preparing for a relay…
JB: Well, on the surface it looks different but it’s not different really. Obviously if you were really preparing for a relay you’d prepare a little differently but that would only give you an extra percent or two. The work was already done.

On whether triathlon relay should feature in the 2016 Olympics…
JB: Yeah we’d love to see this in the Olympics, it’s a shame about Rio. We tried – and a lot of other people did – to get it into 2016. It would be fantastic if they did. It’s a fantastic Olympic event, seeing the men and women race together. There’s the tactical element too – it’s short, it’s fast, it’s good to watch.

On whether they’ll race at Tokyo…
JB: If you asked me that after London I’d say definitely not! But in four years, eight years, you know my body’s still quite young. I’ll definitely still be doing some kind of sport, some kind of triathlon – but maybe not Olympic distance. After Rio, ask me again!

On the order the relay team competed in…
JB: Yeah, maybe [I’d like the last spot], because everyone wants to run down that finish line with the two flags in hand. But Alistair’s a better time-trialler on the bike so that’s why he’s put last in the race. No-one’s going to catch him and that’s what we wanted.

On the bike dynamics in a relay…
JB: Today was completely different to Thursday. On Thursday we were working together very well you know, taking turns on the front whereas today it was all tactical. The Canadian guy didn’t want to work because obviously he wanted to save his legs for the run. The Kiwi guy wanted to a little bit. So it was complete tactics, but I enjoy that.

On the running dives off the pontoon in the relay…
JB: I always get that wrong! I raced in the youth Olympics one year in Sydney in 2009 and I ran down and did a flip because it was a lot further than I thought and did a somersault in the water! So now I come down a bit slower. That’s one of the good things about a relay, it’s all the little things. It’s still swim bike run, but things like the run into the water, the more tactical things, they’re what make a relay different to a normal triathlon. I think that’s why everyone enjoys it.

On whether the Grand Final in Edmonton will be a good end to the year…
Alistair Brownlee: Absolutely, yes, if I can win the Grand Final. I suppose for me it’s all about the big one day races this year so if I can do that... Then maybe I can get the World title next year.

Alistair on whether he wants to race the 10K on the track…
AB: The track was a goal to try and come to the Commonwealths and do it and it would have been a fantastic achievement… but it just didn’t work out unfortunately. But who knows after Rio?

On trying different races again, like Des Moines…
AB: Yeah I’d like to it. I’d do Des Moines again this year to be honest, only it’s on the same day as the Grand Final, otherwise we definitely would have done it. I’ll look at doing slightly different races. We’ll see.

On the support for the relay…
AB: It’s fantastic. I think we’ve seen support in Britain for every level. The support we get is fantastic – like the support we’ve seen here today and on Thursday, the support we’ve given the Tour de France… We really are a keen supporting nation and long may it continue.

On their plans for the next few days…
AB: I’d like to watch a bit of track cycling. Track and field. We are going now [to the athlete’s village] then we might go home later and watch it there.
JB: I’d like to watch the rugby sevens as I’m a big rugby fan.


 
 

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