Georgia Taylor-Brown defied punctures, crashes and injury as she followed up on becoming the fifth British female World Triathlon Champion in 2020 with two medals at the delayed Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
Her Olympic glory was the crowning jewel so far in what was already developing into a terrific triathlon career, and she has many more years to further etch her name into the sport’s history.
Born in Manchester in March 1994, Taylor-Brown had big shoes to fill – her father represented Great Britain as a runner and her mother swam at national level. But as the years rolled by, it was soon obvious that she would outshine her parents’ commendable athletic careers.
A natural in the water from the age of five, Taylor-Brown took up running at school, and with her obvious talent for cross-country events she then made the natural progression to triathlon.
A successful trial with the British Triathlon Olympic Development Squad soon followed, before she juggled her training with studying as she moved to Leeds in 2012 to work towards a degree in Sports and Exercise Science at Leeds Beckett University.
A serial winner across various youth races, Georgia was rocketing towards to the elite level before a nightmare 16 months saw her sidelined with a recurring foot injury.
Despite that setback, her steely determination saw her return to the front of the pack in 2017 – this time at senior level – as she grabbed a maiden elite win at the ITU World Cup race in Madrid.
There would be further stumbling blocks en-route to more titles and records, including an infamous incident which saw her disqualified for crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with training partner Jess Learmonth.
But Taylor-Brown’s ‘never say die’ attitude has seen her pick herself up and battle on – both figuratively and literally – on countless occasions.
Georgia’s amazing 2021 ended in the grandest of manners when she was awarded an MBE along with her Mixed Relay team-mates in the New Year Honours List.
Taylor-Brown was announced as a new member of the Bahrain Endurance 13 team in February 2022, joining the team along with fellow Brit Joe Skipper.
Career record and results
As a junior, Georgia claimed a ton of accolades. She won the ETU European Junior Championships twice in the Individual event and once in Mixed Relay. She also took silver in the World Junior Championships in 2013, that race taking place on home soil in Hyde Park, London.
Taylor-Brown’s maiden elite-level race came at the Cagliari ITU World Cup race in May 2016, where she recorded a 12th-place finish following a lengthy injury lay-off. A first ITU World Cup win came just over a year later as she triumphed in Madrid ahead of American duo Taylor Spivey and Chelsea Burns.
After wins in the Individual and Mixed Relay events at the 2017 U23 European Championships and victory at the ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup, an elite-level podium came at ITU World Triathlon Leeds in 2018.
Taylor-Brown secured two further World Triathlon Series podiums later that year, first at the sprint event at Edmonton and then at Montreal. The results helped her secure third place overall in the 2018 World Triathlon Series rankings in her debut year.
Georgia was third once again in 2019 as she managed top-10 finishes in every race, including a memorable win in Leeds, a second in Montreal and third in Lausanne at the Grand Final. The same year, she helped British teams to gold at the Accenture Mixed Relay Series in Nottingham and silver at the ITU World Mixed Relay Series in Tokyo.
In 2020, Taylor-Brown was crowned World Champion as she clinched victory in a one-off decider at Hamburg, and in 2021 she took the Super League Triathlon Championship title, finishing just one point ahead of close friend Learmonth as the four-race series concluded in Malibu.
Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020
A leg injury left Taylor-Brown on crutches just 12 weeks prior to the Tokyo Games, and she was forced to withdraw from the final World Triathlon Series race in Leeds, an event she had won in 2019.
Despite not racing for almost 11 months, she was able to prove her fitness before flying out to Japan and taking her place on the start line for the Individual event, which would bring further complications.
Her hopes of a medal seemed to have slipped away midway through the race, as a puncture late in the bike leg saw her drop back from the frontrunners. With the rain coming down, she would have to take great care to reach T2 in one piece.
Heading onto the run with a 22-second deficit to the leaders, Taylor-Brown produced a stirring performance to first pick off Learmonth and Laura Lindemann, and then hunt down Katie Zaferes.
She would overhaul the American before beginning her final lap of the course at Tokyo Bay, coming home just over a minute behind winner Flora Duffy to complete a remarkable recovery and claim a silver medal.
The Mixed Relay event would prove even more prosperous for Taylor-Brown, as she joined up with Learmonth, Jonny Brownlee and Alex Yee to clinch a stunning gold for Great Britain. Following on from Brownlee, Taylor-Brown built a 23-second advantage at the front of the field during the third leg before Yee came out on top after a battle with France’s Vincent Luis to seal the victory.
2022 Silver linings: Commonwealth Games and World Championship
Taylor-Brown’s rivalry with Bermudian legend Flora Duffy, has become one of the themes of short-course racing in recent years. 2022 would see that continue. At the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the duo broke away from the field early on the bike leg, and another head-to-head would follow. Duffy prevailed on the run in Sutton Park to defend her gold medal from the Gold Coast, with Taylor-Brown collecting the silver. She would go on to add gold to that in the Mixed Team Relay for the England squad, replicating the medal haul achieved a year earlier in Tokyo.
The 2022 World Triathlon Championship title all came down to the final race at the Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi. After winning WTCS through the season in Yokohama, Montreal and Cagliari, GTB held a narrow points lead ahead of the final race – but the margin was small, meaning that the race was effectively a showdown against… of course, Flora Duffy!
The world got the race that it wanted, with Georgia initially taking the lead early in the 10km run, but ultimately Duffy rallied to take the lead and claim a record-breaking fourth World Triathlon Championship title.
Georgia Taylor-Brown and family
Her father Darryl Taylor represented England and Great Britain as a runner in the 1980’s. Once ranked as the number one in Great Britain in the 800m, Darryl competed alongside the likes of Sebastian Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram.
Georgia’s mother Beverly Brown was an excellent swimmer, competing at national level, while she was also a county-standard middle-distance athlete.
Georgia Taylor-Brown gear
In 2021, Georgia agreed a deal with Specialized which sees her use the American brand’s bikes and other cycling equipment.
She also has a partnership with OTE Sports, which sees her provided with energy gels, protein bars and hydro tabs before and during her races and training sessions.
New Balance is another of Georgia’s sponsors, supplying her with an array of clothes and training shoes.