A few months ago Alistair Brownlee acknowledged that he aims to defend his Olympic golden medals. First, however, he’ll need to qualify. While the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Britain showed he was in excellent shape at last year’s World Cup Valencia (second) and WTS-Hamburg (ninth) – races that didn’t count for the Olympic ranking – he’ll need to prove himself in an official qualifying event.
“There was a World Triathlon announcement a few weeks ago where they said the qualification window is going to open and racing is going on, which is absolutely fantastic. I want to be able to go to those races, race well, and show myself and the British selectors that I’m in a position to be able to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo in the summer,” Brownlee told GDN Life.
While all three women’s spots for Team Great Britain are taken, there is still at least one spot available for the men. Jessica Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Vicky Holland and Jonathan Brownlee have officially made the cut.
Brownlee has spent most of his winter triathlon at home in Yorkshire, but hopes to return to the United States for a training camp soon. In December 2020 he was also in the USA, racing Challenge Daytona, where he dropped out. “The plan is hopefully to go on a training camp to the States in a few weeks time to spend a bit of time at altitude and somewhere different, a bit of different stimulus. And then fly to Japan for the first race of the World Triathlon season.”
There are only two months, and a handful of races, left for Brownlee to claim his spot. Athletes have until Jun. 21 to try and qualify. Brownlee will first race WTCS Yokohama on May 15, then will have another chance to qualify during his hometown race, WTCS Leeds on Jun. 6.
Bahrain Endurance 13 team CEO Chris McCormack believes Brownlee, who’s part of the team, stands a good chance. “Alistair Brownlee is the most successful triathlon Olympian of all time. He has shown his ability to perform at the biggest sporting stage. He may not be the same Alistair he was in 2012 and 2016 over these shorter races, but you cannot deny his ability to be in the mix and shape an entire race still. He is a wildcard in that sense and is more than capable if the opportunity exists to deliver,” he told GDN Life.