Great Britain’s Alex Yee, from Lewisham, and Jessica Learmonth, Jonny Brownlee and Georgia Taylor-Brown won the inaugural Olympic triathlon mixed relay this morning.
Individual silver medalist Yee’s anchor leg meant a triumphant Games farewell for Brownlee, 31, the triathlete who secured his first gold in his third Olympics.
Britain’s seventh gold in Tokyo came after Yee was overtaken in the middle stage, on the bike by France’s Vincent Luis. But he managed to snatch back the lead and pulled clear in the 2km run and finished 14 seconds ahead of the United States while France claimed bronze.
Yee said: “I was pretty scared taking over [for the final leg] because the three before me had done the perfect race.”
Yee had to haul back Luis on the bike before pulling away during the run. But the 23-year-old had previously represented Great Britain in the 10,000m at the European Championships
“I know my run’s my strength so I just went for it,” he added. “It’s amazing to be here and do it with these great guys.”
He had suffered a serious crash on the bike in his first World Cup event in June 2017, causing a punctured lung and breaking ribs, vertebrae and a shoulder blade.
But from 2018 he had trained with the Brownlee brothers in Leeds to develop as a triathlete.
For the relay, each leg is shortened to a 300m swim, 6.8km cycle and 2km run – the distances are 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run in the individual discipline.
Brownlee broke away from the pack during his, the second leg, and individual women’s silver medallist Taylor-Brown and Yee secured Britain’s third triathlon medal of the week.
Brownlee had claimed bronze in London nine years ago and silver in Rio behind his brother Alistair, and finished fifth in the individual race on Monday.
He said: “There was a lot of pressure on us. We all had to race well and do everything right and that’s what we did. Well done to everyone, but Alex in that last leg, taking over in the last leg in – it seems like the best position but it’s actually one of the worst because all you can do is lose it – he kept his cool and kept his head. And the two girls – we did everything we possibly could.”
Pictured: Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee, Alex Yee, Jessica Learmonth and Georgia Taylor Brown celebrate gold in the Triathlon Mixed Relay
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