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Brownlee brothers boost Team GB medal tally with triathlon gold and silver

Britain's Brownlee brothers swept to the top two spots on the podium in the Olympic triathlon - adding to Team GB's growing Rio medal collection.

Alistair, 28, who took gold and Jonny, 26, who claimed silver, raced together on the course of the men's event in Copacabana until the defending champion pulled away.

After winning gold at London 2012, Alistair strolled across the line to retain his title, while his younger sibling upgraded his bronze for silver - finishing just six seconds behind.

The pair collapsed to the floor and embraced as they celebrated their achievement, which came on another golden day for Britain as m oments later sailors Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark won the women's 470 event.

The older Brownlee brother, who became the first man to win consecutive Olympic triathlon titles, said the win was "very special".

He said: "The records isn't the big thing for me, it's about turning up on the day and winning the race. Maybe the enormity of it all will sink in over the next few weeks but I'm just pleased I turned up and Jonny did it as well.

"I can't remember which one of us said it, but it was very much 'we've done it'. We've trained so hard together for this and it's fantastic."

Alistair, who had an operation on his ankle last August, told the BBC that "every day this year has been so hard" and he has woken up in pain most days.

He said the brothers "committed" to a hard first few laps on the bike to open up a gap in the field.

"I was pretty confident we were going to get first and second - I didn't know entirely which way they were going to go," he added.

"I have just had the edge on Jonny the last couple of races but he has killed me in training almost every day. I have been going through hell this year."

Alistair said it only sunk in that he had clinched the gold once he got on to the blue carpet at the end of the race, adding that he was "so happy".

Jonny said: "In training I've maybe been a little bit better than Alistair but maybe the short stuff suits me a bit more. In the race I had a very good swim and on the bike I felt great and controlled. I might have done a bit too much work on the bike but when we got to the run Alistair was too strong for me and these hard races suit him a bit better than me.

"A bit of me thought 'here we go again' but I was confident I'd hold on to second but he got his gap and it just stayed."

Mills and Clark, who won silver in London four years ago, had to wait for their coronation after light winds postponed the final race on Wednesday but they made no mistakes on Thursday.

Mills told the BBC: "I can't believe it. It has actually been the best feeling ever.

"We are so proud to come back after it and we've worked so hard to get the upgrade to gold. Thank you to everyone back home for the support. It is all we have ever dreamed of and we are so happy."

Elsewhere, Liam Heath and Jon Schofield won silver in the men's kayak double 200m final.

The pair, who claimed bronze at London 2012, were pipped to the finish line by the Spanish crew by just under three-tenths of a second.

Their medals bring Team GB's medal haul to 21 gold, 21 silver and 13 bronze - making 55 in total.

Team GB can also count on another medal to come, as boxer Nicola Adams guaranteed at least a silver by beating China's Ren Cancan, the opponent she beat to win gold in London 2012.

Adams, 33, goes into Saturday's women's flyweight final hoping to become the first to British boxer to retain an Olympic title in 92 years.

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