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Published: Tuesday, 8/7/2012

Britain’s Alistair Brownlee wins Olympic triathlon


LONDON — Alistair Brownlee grabbed a British flag, slowed to a jog and then walked across the finish line to win the men’s triathlon on Tuesday at the Olympics.

Brownlee pulled away from silver medal winner Javier Gomez of Spain halfway through the 10-kilometer run to finish in 1 hour, 46 minutes, 25 seconds. Gomez took silver, with Alistair’s younger brother, Jonathan Brownlee, claiming bronze despite serving a 15-second time penalty. The brothers embraced after they crossed the finish line.

The older Brownlee added the Olympic title — Britain’s first Olympic medal in triathlon — to his world and European titles.

He was among the leaders after the 1,500-meter swim and 27-mile bike ride through Hyde Park, but broke away from Gomez in the run.

After he finished the race, the victorious Brownlee dropped to the ground in exhaustion.

Gomez, the 2008 and 2010 world champion, also won his first Olympic medal. He finished 11 seconds behind Alastair, and 20 seconds ahead of Jonathan.

The top three men were all on an Olympic podium for the first time in their careers. Triathlon made its Olympic debut at the Sydney Games.

French pair David Hauss and Laurent Vidal were fourth and fifth, respectively, while defending Olympic champion Jan Frodeno of Germany was sixth.

Richard Varga of Slovakia set the early pace in the 34-mile race, emerging first from the swim through Serpentine lake in central London’s famed park. But the Brownlee brothers followed close behind, with Jonathan fourth and Alistair sixth, and the home favorites set the tempo for almost the entire race after that.

Vincent Luis of France edged ahead as the competitors went from bike to run, but it was only by a matter of seconds from the Brownlees, who arrived at the final transition together.

Jonathan Brownlee had to serve a time penalty for mounting his bike too early after the swim-cycle transition, and even though he rejoined his brother and Gomez out front soon after emerging from the penalty box, he dropped off the pace following the first of four 1.55-mile laps on the run.

Alistair Brownlee and Gomez, both two-time world champions, were together for about a lap, but the Englishman found another gear halfway through the final discipline and pulled away.

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