Meet the men…
Along with his brother Alistair, Jonny has been going toe-to-toe with the world’s best for over a decade. In that time, the Yorkshire ace has been crowned ITU World Champion, had multiple podium finishes and won the ITU Mixed Team Relay world title three times.
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- Alistair & Jonny Brownlee’s top speed tips for Olympic-distance triathlon
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Racing at what will be his third and final Olympics, the 31-year-old will be hoping to add gold to his London bronze and Rio silver. But he comes into Tokyo with a mixed bag of results behind him: 23rd at WTCS Yokohama, 1st at the World Triathlon Cup Arzachena, and a 9th at his home race in Leeds.
You can be sure that Jonny will be in the mix come race day, but with such a strong field, is the mixed relay going to be his best chance of an Olympic fairytale?
2nd Rio Olympic Games, 2016
3rd London Olympic Games, 2012
1st ITU World Series, 2012
Yee may be a relative newcomer to the elite circuit, but his running pedigree means he’s a force to be reckoned with in the final third of races. That was certainly the case when the London-born triathlete made his World Series debut in Abu Dhabi in 2019 by taking home silver.
The 23-year-old comes into the Olympics in fine form having placed fourth in Yokohama in May and winning Leeds the following month. Having said that, some big-hitters (Vincent Luis, Mario Mola, Henri Schoeman) were absent on that fine weekend.
With a packed field lining up in Tokyo, Yee needs to have the race of his life to be in with a chance. But the valuable experience of racing in the heat of Yokohama and his fine running pedigree means that if he can stick with the leaders through the swim and bike he’ll be in with a podium shot.
1st WTCS Leeds, 2021
4th WTCS Yokohama, 2021
2nd World Triathlon Abu Dhabi, 2019
Meet the women…
Known for her swim prowess, Jess Learmonth has gone from strength to strength since switching from football, golf and swimming to tri in 2012. Her first taste of multisport was a charity event, but it was in 2017 when her senior career started to gather momentum, with a ETU European title and podium finishes in Stockholm and Rotterdam.
The following season, the Leeds-born triathlete secured a silver medal in both the individual and relay events at the Commonwealth Games and finished the World Series in fifth. In 2019, the 33-year-old took five podium finishes to place runner-up in the World Series behind Katie Zaferes (USA).
An injury during the 2020/2021 winter ruled her out of the season opener in Yokohama and seriously curtailed her run training, but she surprised in Leeds (6 June) with a strong showing and a second placed finish. Could that result be a springboard for success at her debut Games in Tokyo?
2nd World Triathlon Series, 2019
2nd World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne, 2019
2nd Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, 2018
Vicky Holland first discovered triathlon during her time at Loughborough Uni, but her first taste of winning came with two Mixed Relay World Champ titles (2012, 2014) and a Commonwealth Mixed Relay gold in 2014.
A number of World Series podiums followed in 2015, before a bronze in Rio 2016 made her the first British woman to ever win an Olympic triathlon medal. Injury ruled Holland out for 2017, but she came back stronger to win her first world title in impressive fashion the following year, clocking wins in Montreal, Edmonton and Leeds, and a second-place in the Grand Final, Australia.
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The 35-year-old had a series of top-10 finishes throughout 2019 and an ITU World Cup win in Mooloolaba in early 2020. More recently, Holland placed fifth at the Lisbon World Triathlon Cup race in May, before deciding to pull out of Leeds as a precaution with a tweaked calf.
1st World Triathlon Series, 2018
2nd World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast, 2018
3rd Rio Olympic Games, 2016
Leeds-based Georgia Taylor-Brown only made her senior debut in 2018, but her impressive performances ever since cemented her place on the starting line in Tokyo for her Olympic debut. The 27-year-old won a host of medals at junior level and continued that form when she started racing at senior level.
- Georgia Taylor-Brown’s top speed tips for the sprint-distance triathlon
- Georgia Taylor-Brown gets ready for Tokyo Olympics
A silver at Leeds in 2018 showed just how well she made the step up, with a bronze at both Edmonton and Montreal following soon after. She went one better in 2019, taking the Leeds win, silver in Montreal and third at the Grand Final in Lausanne.
Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, TaylorBrown continued her good form in 2020, placing second at the Mooloolaba Triathlon World Cup and beating a strong field to first place at the one-off Worlds in Hamburg. Aside from an outing at the Super League Triathlon Arena Games in London, it’s been a quiet start to 2021 for Taylor-Brown, who pulled out of a couple of races due to illness.
1st World Triathlon Hamburg, 2020
1st World Triathlon Leeds, 2019
3rd World Triathlon Series, 2018 and 2019
Don’t miss the ‘220 guide to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’, on sale 8 July. Our 17-page section include essential viewing information, course routes, Team GB profiles, and our pick of the top individual and mixed relay contenders. Plus, we countdown the top 20 Olympic triathlon moments and speak exclusively to two-time Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brownlee about his new book, Relentless: Secrets of the Sporting Elite.