Triathlon champion Brownlee to extend Olympic career after Tokyo delay

Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee (File)
Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee (File)

Double Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee confirmed on Wednesday that he will defend his title at the Tokyo Games after they were postponed until 2021.

Britain's Brownlee, 31, is planning to switch from short course events to 'Ironman' races following the Olympics in Japan, which were originally scheduled to start on 24 July but will now take place no later than summer next year following Tuesday's decision to push back the event.

"Tokyo 2020 would have 100 percent been my last short distance race, and I am now going to have to extend it for another year," Brownlee told the UK's Press Association.

Gold medallist in London in 2012 and in Rio four years later, Brownlee was training with medal-winning brother Jonny in New Mexico, USA when he heard about the delay.

"The logical conclusion is that it will be more difficult because I will be another year older. But you never know what is going to happen in a year in endurance sport," added Brownlee, who is the only triathlete to have claimed back-to-back gold medals at the Olympics.

"It is going to be a challenge but there are a lot of people in a far worse position than me.

"The Olympics are an inspirational thing, but when people are in hospital losing their lives, it seems inappropriate if any of those resources are being put into a sporting event."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14917 votes
12% - 4593 votes
19% - 6984 votes
3% - 970 votes
1% - 368 votes
2% - 885 votes
5% - 1887 votes
9% - 3218 votes
4% - 1339 votes
Water sports
1% - 341 votes
American sports
1% - 460 votes
3% - 1250 votes