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Brownlee brothers take triathlon by storm

August 7, 2012 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
Alistair Brownlee (R) and brother Jonny pose with their medals after the men's triathlon
Alistair Brownlee (R) and brother Jonny pose with their medals after the men's triathlon
  • Alistair Brownlee wins gold in the men's triathlon at the London Olympics
  • His brother Jonny finishes third with Spain's Javier Gomez taking the silver
  • Alistair takes one hour 45 minutes and 23 seconds to complete course
  • Britain take gold in team dressage event to beat their tally from Beijing

(CNN) -- Alistair Brownlee claimed Britain's first ever medal in the men's Olympic triathlon, taking gold ahead of two-time world champion Javier Gomez and his brother Jonny, who won bronze despite incurring a 15 second penalty.

It marked Team GB's 19th gold medal of the London Games, matching the number they landed in Beijing four years ago.

The elder of the two brothers, Alistair, recovered from months out with injury to take his first Olympic gold medal in a grueling event that comprises a 1.5km swim, 43km bike ride and a 10km run.

The 24-year-old clocked a time of one hour 45 minutes and 23 seconds to edge out Gomez and could afford to grab a Union Jack flag from the crowd and canter through the final 100 meters.

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Jonny, 22, had to receive medical treatment after the race but showed guts and determination to take third after being penalized for mounting his bike too soon after the swim.

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Alistair's triumph was soon followed by another as Laura Bechtolsheimer, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin helped Britain win the team dressage event in Greenwich Park.

"It feels a bit underwhelming in a way because Jonny has collapsed and he's not feeling too good," Alistair told the host broadcaster after the race.

"That race was just unbelievable. I felt in control right from the start. And the crowds, I don't think I've ever come across anything anywhere near like that and I doubt I ever will again.

"My ears are still ringing with the noise. It was absolutely amazing. I'm massively proud. It's been talked about so much that Great Britain haven't won a triathlon medal so the pressure was stacked up.

"To get two of us, two British brothers, on the podium -- you couldn't ask for any more."

Both brothers finished the end of the swimming leg in the leading pack but Jonny was handed a penalty for mounting his bike too early after leaving Hyde Park's Serpentine lake.

At the end of the 43km bike stage both were at the front as British teammate Stuart Hayes played the role of pace setter.

Alistair moved away from the field in the early stages of the 10km run, allowing Jonny to leave enough of a cushion to serve his 15 second penalty and rejoin the race clear in third.

The elder brother ended with a time of 29 minutes and seven seconds in the 10km run -- just over a minute and a half slower than compatriot Mo Farah who won the 10,000 meters on Saturday.

Alsatair said he had purposely ran a fast opening lap to give his brother the best chance to win a medal.

He added: "We knew he had a penalty early in the bike and I was telling him 'Calm down, you can still easily get on the podium with a 15 second penalty.'

"I took the first lap of the run out really hard to try and get Jonny as far away from the others as I could. Gomez was having a great race again today so there was not much we could do about that.

"Jonny is fine, triathlon is a tough sport and we've both been in that position. I think it was deceptively hard today, obviously it was fast but with this humid, muggy day, it dehydrates you and he was right on the edge at the finish."

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