Britain’s Alistair Brownlee disqualified for ‘ducking’ and faces Olympic omission

Two-time gold medal winner accepts disqualification from race in Leeds

Britain’s Alistair Brownlee in action during The AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series race in Leeds on Sunday. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Britain’s Alistair Brownlee in action during The AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Championship Series race in Leeds on Sunday. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

 

Alistair Brownlee’s hopes of winning a third successive Olympic title appear to be over after he was disqualified for “ducking” a rival during a World Triathlon Championship Series race in Leeds.

The 33-year-old has struggled with injuries in recent months but was hoping to do enough to secure the second place in the British men’s team alongside his brother Jonny. But after his disqualification he indicated that he would be having ankle surgery rather than trying to go to Tokyo.

Brownlee’s decision came after he was judged to have pushed the American Chase McQueen under the water and disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct, although he later insisted it was accidental. Brownlee, who won gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016, continued to race, and only found out while on the 10km run after finishing the swim and bike section.

Brownlee tweeted: “I’m very embarrassed about being Dq’d. The swim action was completely unintentional and I’ve had worse done to me in every World Series race I’ve ever done. However it is a field of play decision and I chose not to protest it.”

He added: “I’ve known my ankle needs surgery for a little while. My focus will be on getting healthy again and then long distance triathlon in the future.”

Brownlee’s slim hopes of going to Tokyo further eroded when the 23-year-old Alex Yee, tipped to challenge for an Olympic medal, sprinted away to win his first series event. Brownlee wrote: “I think GB have a great team going to the Olympics and I wish them all the best. [Alex’s] performance today was outstanding and a breakthrough.”

The selectors will decide in the coming weeks who will get the second spot, while Britain could yet earn a third place if they send a team to Mexico next week and do well. But Yee rightly indicated that he expected to go.

“That’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” Yee said. “The best person will go because I trust the governing body to make the right decision.” – Guardian

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