olympic silver medallist Jonathan Brownlee said the UK leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series deserved to stay in Leeds as the city gears up to welcome over 80,000 spectators over the second weekend of June.
Leeds hosted the British offering of the sport’s world championship for the first time last June and the city has again been preferred to London to host the prestigious event in 2017.
The destination of the British leg in 2018 has yet to be decided, but Leeds star Brownlee sees no reason why the event should now be moved from his home city.
The 27-year-old will once again be joined on the start line by his dual Olympic gold medallist older brother Alistair, with the duo intent on repeating the result of last year’s Leeds leg in which they finished first and second.
“Last year it was one of the best triathlons I have ever competed in,” last year’s runner-up Brownlee told the YEP. “Obviously the London Olympic triathlon was very special with the crowd but Leeds had an equally good crowd.
“It’s the best World Series crowd I’ve ever had, I believe, and lots of different athletes from other nations have said that before. It’s really good to see the whole city get behind the sport and become a triathlon city just for a couple of days. That’s what triathlon is all about and I think it deserves to stay here. It’s a good course and a great event.”
Councillor Judith Blake echoed his thoughts and said Leeds City Council members would be working hard in discussions with triathlon’s board members to host the event for a third time in 2018. She said: “A non-capital city hosting one of the major series is fantastic and the fact they are coming back again this year is a real testament to how the event went last year.
“We will be talking to the board members that will be coming along and we think we have got a great future here so we will keep talking and look at holding it next year.”