Brownlees, Stuart Hayes, Helen Jenkins, Vicky Holland and Lucy Hall revealed as TeamGB’s triathlon squad for London 2012.
The British Olympic Association and British Triathlon have officially unveiled Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games triathlons, announcing that Helen Jenkins, Vicky Holland, Lucy Hall the Brownlees and Stuart Hayes will take on the rest of the world’s best athletes on 4 and 7 August in Hyde Park.
The choice has proved controversial, with Will Clarke, Liz Blatchford and Jodie Stimpson, who are higher ranked than Hayes and Hall respectively, all reportedly appealing their non-selection by British Triathlon.
Alistair Brownlee, as 2009 and 2011 ITU World Champion, has been inked on the Olympic shortlist for several seasons. Finishing 12th in Beijing, his outstanding performances since have proved him to be the very best in the world. Recent injury worries following a tear of his Achilles tendon in February had cast some doubt on his selection, but now reportedly fully recovered and race fit, Alistair Brownlee will be odds on for gold in London.
Jonny Brownlee, two years Alistair’s junior at 22, had already virtually guaranteed his slot for the Olympics before the 2012 season, finishing the ITU World Championship Series in second place last year – his first full season in senior competition. This year, Jonny blitzed the rest of the field in both ITU San Diego and ITU Madrid to take commanding wins, recent racing experience that could yet threaten his brother’s chances for gold come August.
Stuart Hayes is the oldest and most experienced man on the Olympic team having moved into triathlon from a swimming background aged 15. Now 33, Hayes has enjoyed podium places around the globe including second at the 2010 Mooloolabo ITU World Cup race and first place in the Kitzbuehel leg of the ITU World Championship Series the same year. Perhaps more importantly, he’s shown himself to be a particularly strong biker willing to act as a super-domestique for the Brownlees, a role he’s sure to reprise in London.
Helen Jenkins goes into the Olympics as firm favourite following winning her second ITU World Championship title last year, which included a sensational win in Hyde Park on the Olympic course. Getting progressively stronger throughout the last few seasons after her 21st place finish in Beijing, Jenkins has moved up the world rankings to become the best female Olympic distance triathlete on the planet. Her second and first place finishes in Sydney and San Diego this year only serve to reinforce her incredible strength and expert preparation for the games.
Vicky Holland has proven herself as a strong competitor on the international circuit. With the injuries that hampered her 2011 season healed, Holland has this year shown herself as a determined force in triathlon, sending a message that she can be up there with the best with fifth and seventh place finishes in San Diego and Madrid. She is currently placed seventh – and second Brit – in the ITU’s world rankings and is likely to go for the podium rather than working as a domestique.
Lucy Hall is the most inexperienced member on the squad, aged only 20. Though yet to score an international podium in individual senior competition, Hall has already made a name for herself as a stunningly fast swimmer, leaving the water first in ITU Hamburg and Lausanne last year. It’s expected that Hall will help Jenkins conserve energy on the swim to set her up for a strong bike and run.
The BOA’s official release adds these details:
The athletes were formally nominated to the BOA for selection to Team GB by British Triathlon, the National Governing Body for triathlon in the UK.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said:
“As we move into the final 50 days of preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, I am delighted to announce these six triathletes as selected to Team GB.
“Triathlon has made truly outstanding progress since Beijing 2008. We are now a world leading nation in the sport of triathlon, with the number one ranked male and female athletes in Alistair Brownlee and Helen Jenkins. It is encouraging that both athletes have already tasted success at the Olympic venue after winning the test event last summer.
“With the full vocal support and encouragement of the British fans behind them, I have every confidence that these athletes can create history and achieve Team GBs first ever Olympic triathlon medals in Hyde Park this summer.”
Team GB Triathlon Head Coach Malcolm Brown said:
“We have a group of fantastic athletes, and I’m confident that all six of them will put in strong performances for Team GB at London 2012. Britain has never won a triathlon medal so we are trying to make history this summer, and I feel that we definitely have the strength and ability within our squad to do so.
“We are going into London with a strong and united team, a group of athletes who will know what each other’s strengths and ambitions are, and we will all be working together to achieve success.”
Athlete Alistair Brownlee said:
“London will be my second Olympic Games, and the level of excitement and interest is just massive. Now that the team has been announced it feels like we’re a step much closer. I’ve also got my first race of the season this weekend, which a big milestone for me personally and now I’m looking forward to the next eight weeks of intense preparation for the summer.”
Athlete Helen Jenkins said:
“I’m really excited to be going to my second Olympics. The fact it is a home Games is making the experience so much different to four years ago. The level of interest in the team is huge, and I hope the nation will really get behind us, as home support really does give us an advantage.”
Athlete Jonathan Brownlee said:
“It feels fantastic to officially be part of Team GB, it’s my first Olympic Games and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m confident that we have a strong team and that we’ll put on a good show for the big crowds that are expected to come to Hyde Park on the 7th August.
“Wearing the Team GB tracksuit for the first time today is a big honour and I can’t wait for the Games to begin.”
Athlete Lucy Hall said:
“When I got the call to say I’d been selected to go to the Olympic Games I was so excited! To be able to tell people that I’m part of Team GB makes me incredibly proud, and I plan to make the most of this amazing opportunity to compete at a home Olympics.”
Athlete Vicky Holland said:
“I’ve dreamed of going to the Olympic Games for twenty years. To be part of Team GB is an amazing feeling and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me. We have such an opportunity to do something amazing this summer and I can’t wait to be part of it.”
Athlete Stuart Hayes said:
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity be part of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games. I was born and grew up in London, so to be part of a very strong British triathlon team at a home Games is a dream come true.”
Despite British Triathlon’s choice to hedge their bets by selecting supporting athletes to fill the third slots in each race, the whole of Team GB are sure to feature prominently in front of their home crowd in London.
If the country’s recent domination on the world stage is any indication, there’s a good chance that the national anthem will be blaring out above the podium this August.
See more about the contraversial choices here.
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