Brownlee Brothers: 'West Yorkshire Helped Our Success'

Alistair Brownlee

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee have been named in the squad for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

The Brownlee brothers have been named in Team England's triathlon squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Alistair and Jonny join fellow West Yorkshire athlete Jess Learmonth in the squad - who will compete in the Games on the Gold Coast next April.

Alistair underwent surgery on his hip earlier this year - and says the prospect of competing has kept him motivated through his recovery.

"I'm definitely still hungry to win medals.  I think as long as there's blood in me, I think I'm going to be a very, very competitive individual so that's not going to be a problem.  I think the issue is, four months away, making sure that the body is healthy, and allowing me to do the training I need to do.

"I was in a very fortunate position where I could go to the Commonwealth Games, but it wasn't a thing I definitely wanted to do.  It basically came down to how much it motivated me, and when I sat down and thought about it, I realised that it motivated me a lot.

"It's a fantastic opportunity, it's something that I have always held in very high esteem, and that was it.  Sitting there, thinking 'can I be motivated to do that gym session?', which I don't like doing at the best of times, and it has provided that motivation."

The Dewsbury-born two-time Olympic gold medallist also expressed how growing up in West Yorkshire helped him to achieve so much success in athletics.

"It wasn't so long ago that I spent pretty much all of my lunchtimes at school running round the streets of Bradford, and cycling to school on the canal through Shipley," he added.  "It can be done, and I think that's one of the fantastic things that I saw - I had people to look up to.

"There's nothing special about me.  I just went out there, trained hard, enjoyed it, found good people to do it with and get good advice from, and I've managed to have a long, relatively successful career in sport.  I'd say to anyone out there, get on, do it, give it a go and follow your dream - work hard at it."

It's a feeling echoed by fellow West Yorkshire triathlete Jess Learmonth.

"It's becoming a major place to train for triathlons.  We've got the terrain for the riding, the running's really good - it's got everything you really need to train well here.

"Obviously the weather can be pretty grim sometimes with the wind and the rain, but it makes you strong.  It just makes it that much easier when you have nice conditions."

Tom Bishop, Joe Townsend, Mark Conway, Jade Jones, Lizzie Tench, Sophie Coldwell and Vicky Holland make up the rest of the triathlon squad.

The Games will take place from April 4 to 15, on Australia's Gold Coast - where Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville will act as event cities.

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