Two British brothers are among the leading contenders for the gold medal in the Men’s Triathlon August 7th at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Two-time triathlon world champion Alistair Brownlee and his younger brother Jonathan are both expected to do very well at the event in London’s Hyde Park and could very well be on the winner’s podium together.
The Brownlee brothers, from the Northern England county of Yorkshire, were the top two finishers in the ITU World Triathlon series event at Kitzbuehel, Austria earlier this summer. The elder 24-year-old Brownlee won the Olympic distance event in 1:50:13 and appears to have recovered from the serious Achilles tendon tear he suffered back in February and won both events he entered this year, the other victory coming in the Blenheim Triathlon. At the event held at Blenheim Palace, in Oxfordshire, England, he and younger brother Jonathan stopped running just short of the finish line and then walked across the tape together to finish tied for first. Earlier this year while Alistair was recovering from his Achilles injury, Jonathan continued to compete and won two other ITU World Triathlon series events held in San Diego and Madrid.
The British brothers have an advantage in competing in their home country, along with a massive fan base, but there are a number of other talented international triathletes that easily could challenge for the gold medal. Among the 54 other Olympic triathletes expected to vie for the gold medal are Spain’s Javier Gomez, Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov and Dmitry Polyanskiy, Sweden’s Sven Riederer, France’s David Hauss, Austria’s Brad Kahlefeldt and Germany Steffen Justus. Only two Americans are entered in the event – Manuel Huerta and Hunter Kemper and neither is predicted to finish in the top three in London. However it should be noted that 36-year-year old Kemper will be appearing in his record setting fourth triathlon event in the Olympic Games.
The 2012 Olympic Men’s Triathlon event begins at 11:30 a.m. at Hyde Park’s largest Royal Lake, the Serpentine, with water temperatures expected to be approximately 20 Celsius or 68 Fahrenheit and if it’s lower, the triathletes will be allowed to wear wetsuits. After the 1.5km swim, the athletes will embark on the 43km bike course, consisting of seven loops while zipping past some of the city’s most important landmarks, including Kensington Gardens and Buckingham Palace. Upon returning to the transition area in front of what should be a sellout throng overlooking the Serpentine, the triathletes will then set out on a very fast and flat 10km, with four 2.5km loops around the lake. A course map of the Olympic Triathlon can be found here.
While only the spectators with paid tickets will be able to see the start and finish from the stands in front of the Serpentine, hundreds of thousands of other spectators are to queue along the course when the triathletes are on the bike course outside of the park, along South Carriage Drive near Knightsbridge, Constitution Hill and the Queen Victoria Memorial. For those residents of London and visitors who were unable to purchase tickets to the Olympics, the Men’s Triathlon is one of just a few events that can be viewed outside an Olympic venue.
As Britain’s top contender for the gold, Alistair Brownlee hopes to sharply improve from his 12th place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It would seem only fitting for an athlete from Great Britain to win Olympic gold in the Men’s Triathlon, given the gold medal awarded on Sunday in the Men’s Tennis final, with Andy Murray defeating Switzerland’s Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon. And if either Brownlee fares well on Tuesday, it wouldn’t be unexpected to see the other brother not far behind.