Leeds triathlete Alistair Brownlee claims gold medal in World Cup

Alistair Brownlee.
Alistair Brownlee.
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Double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee claimed a narrow victory in the men’s race at the ITU World Cup in Cagliari, Italy yesterday.

The win marked Brownlee’s 36th triathlon gold medal as he made a rare appearance over the sprint distance.

The 31-year-old from Leeds finished just one second ahead of Germany’s Justus Nieschlag.

“I’m delighted with that,” said Brownlee. “I thought I’d struggle on the run today and wouldn’t have that top-end form.

“I tried to run at my own pace and make it hard.

“I said to myself with a couple of minutes to go that no-one can push harder than me, so if they’re going to beat me, they’re going to have to dig really deep.”

American Kevin McDowell finished third and Leeds’ Gordon Benson fourth in the race, which consisted of a 750m swim, 19km cycle and 5km run.

Brownlee’s British team-mate Sophie Coldwell claimed the gold medal in the women’s race.

The 24-year-old from Gravesend led out of the swim and was first out of the final transition before completing much of the run alone.

She finished 11 seconds ahead of Germany’s Nina Eim in second, with Belgian Valerie Barthelemy third and Britons Beth Potter and Jodie Stimpson sixth and seventh respectively.

“I’m really pleased with how the race went today,” Coldwell said.

“I crashed a few weeks back on my bike, so I just wanted to keep my head down and get a good race. I’m pleased with how it’s gone.”

Meanwhile at the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan, Britain’s Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown finished fifth in the men’s and women’s races.

The event marked 21-year-old Yee’s first standard-distance race – featuring a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run – on the World Series circuit.

A medal in Japan would have sealed the first step towards Olympic qualification for next year’s Games.

The second stage of Olympic qualification for Team GB takes place in August at the Tokyo test event.