Alex Yee reacts to first-ever WTCS win in Leeds

Alex Yee reacts to his first-ever WTCS win after an impressive display in Leeds.

Alex Yee winning Leeds triathlon 2021

WTCS Leeds returned with a bang this weekend as Alex Yee delivered an impressive performance to claim the honours in front of a noisy crowd in Roundhay Park.

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Yee’s first-ever WTCS win followed his fourth-place finish in Yokohama last month and came amid an eventful race in which Alistair Brownlee was disqualified for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

With a large pack sticking together on the swim and bike it looked like anyone’s race, but Yee showed his running prowess in the final leg, gradually extending his lead as he raced to the finish line.

After 1:43:27 of racing he took the tape with a triumphant shout and outpouring of emotion, which was still clear for all to see as he reflected on his achievement post-race. Here’s what he had to say.

On getting his first WTCS win…

Alex Yee winning Leeds triathlon 2021
Credit: World Triathlon/Tommy Zaferes

That was… I don’t know… that’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life.

It’s been so long since I’ve seen so many people that I saw while I was racing because of Covid.

To deliver in front of all those people was really special on such an important occasion and in a home race as well.

I know I need to swim to the best of my ability, go through the right processes and not let things overwhelm me, because I know when I go in with the wrong mindset I’ve always been beaten and I’ve done that many a time.

I feel like I’ve learnt from those experiences and that’s the best way for me to get the best out of a race…

Other than the mixed relay, I don’t think I’ve ever had the national anthem played for me before. That was really different; something I don’t think I’ve processed yet. It’s a bit of a blur at the moment.

I’m over the moon to get a result like that, but whoever gets selected [for the Olympic team] I have so much respect for the other guys in the mix. Alistair is the greatest of all time, Tom’s been such an incredible mentor, and whoever gets selected I’ll be happy. I just did the best I could on the day and am over the moon regardless of what happens.

On the crowd…

Alex Yee leading the bike leg of Leeds triathlon 2021
Credit: World Triathlon/Tommy Zaferes

That was incredible. There was just so much noise, I can’t describe it. It feels like there are 4,000 people behind you giving you an extra push. I’m just so happy people are back and the world is returning to normal. I’m glad I could be a part of that and put a smile on people’s faces.

On a possible shot at the Olympics…

It’d be incredible. I remember when Tokyo was announced ages ago and my grandad said that’d give me something to live for. Since that day I’ve really worked hard for it and it’s turned from being an impossibility to a possibility.

It’s just incredible that I’m even in the running for it with Alistair and Tom – these are the guys I’ve looked up to for so long. I’m really proud of what I’ve done today and it was a team effort for sure.

On what’s next…

We’re [Yee and the other GB athletes] going to an internal camp in Loughborough and then who knows. My focus was Yokohama and Leeds and I’ve left it open for whatever is going to happen.

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Top image credit: World Triathlon/Tommy Zaferes