Tokyo will be last Olympics for Jonny Brownlee

Photo: World Triathlon/ Janos Schmidt

Two-time Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee (bronze, 2012 and silver, 2016) says that this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo will be his last – he’s looking to move up to longer distance races in the future.

“I’ve absolutely loved it but after Tokyo I’ll be ready for a new challenge,” he told BBC Sport. “I know it is only three years to Paris, but I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time – the same races in the same places – and although the Olympics has been amazing, I’m ready for a change and if anything, the long distance will suit me more.”

In the interview he also expressed his hope that brother Alistair, the two-time Olympic gold medalist, will be able to overcome an ankle-injury and be able to compete for a spot on the team for Tokyo this weekend, too. “From a selfish point of view, I really want Alistair to be there in Tokyo. I believe if I want to win a medal, he will help that,” .Jonathan, who has already been named to the British team for Tokyo, told the BBC.

As we have previously reported, Great Britain only has two men’s qualifying spots for the Tokyo Games. That could change if Tom Bishop can move into the top-30 in the World Triathlon Olympic ranking either this weekend at the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Leeds or World Triathlon Cup Huatulco in Mexico the following weekend.

With Great Britain only having two men eligible for Tokyo right now, British Triathlon will base its decision, in part, on a race off between Alistair Brownlee and Alex Yee for the second Tokyo spot in Leeds this weekend.

Jonathan Brownlee’s desire to move to longer distances follows his brother’s similar move in 2017. Alistair competed in his first half-distance race at Challenge Mogan-Gran Canaria in April of that year, winning by a huge margin. He followed that up with a win at the Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship in St. George, Utah. He took second to Jan Frodeno in a race for the ages at the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in South Africa (Javier Gomez rounded out the podium) and second to Gustav Iden at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 worlds in Nice. That year he also made his Ironman debut, winning Ironman Ireland, then competing at the Ironman World Championship, where he struggled during the marathon to finish 21st. He followed that a couple of months later with a record-setting win at Ironman Western Australia.