Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Brownlee brothers take gold and bronze for Team GB

Typical little brother, always tagging along behind older sibling...

Brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee celebrate winning gold and silver respectively in the Olympic triathlon

With a Union flag draped across his shoulders, exhausted but triumphant Alistair Brownlee slowed to walking pace as he crossed the finish in Hyde Park.

Yet if the elder brother's victory elicited roars of delight from crowds in London and his native Leeds, the arrival half-a-minute later of Jonathan Brownlee to snatch bronze, despite a 15-second penalty for a minor infringement of the rules, was greeted with equal if not greater fervour.

Throngs of red, white and blue-clad fans descended on Hyde Park and its surrounds for the mainly non-ticketed event — with crowds 20 to 30 deep at some of the most popular vantage points. They were rewarded with an experience that will live long in the memory.

“To get two of us — two brothers – two British brothers on the podium, you couldn't ask for any more,” said Alistair (24), as Jonathan, two years his junior, was led away in a wheelchair to the resuscitation area after collapsing at the race's climax.

The Brownlees, the hugely popular sons of two doctors from Bramhope in Leeds, look set to boost the popularity of one of the world's fastest growing pursuits.

Yet those with most at stake were the Brownlees' parents, riven with nerves.

Once satisfied their youngest son was all right, the relieved couple described witnessing their sons' success as “unreal” — despite their 40-hour-a-week training schedule.

“You don't think that those boys running through that line and winning those medals are your sons,” said Cath Brownlee. Her husband Keith, a consultant in cystic fibrosis, said he felt “pride, elation, relief — it's wonderful”.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre