When Alex Yee was right in contention early in the run for gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo many fancied him to take the biggest prize of all – but Kristian Blummenfelt ruined the script.
The Norwegian produced an astonishing sustained sprint to pull clear and claim gold for Norway, while Yee had to settle for what was a superb silver at the age of just 23. He would later follow up by taking gold on the Great Britain team in a sensational Mixed Relay victory.
Alex, who had burst onto the Olympic scene by making the Team GB squad with a stunning victory at WTCS Leeds in June, reflected on the race in an interview with The Times this week. He felt there was nothing more he could have given, but instead he was blown away by what ‘Big Blu’ was able to produce at the end of a brutal race in brutal conditions.
“I feel like I got everything out of my body but when he went . . . I was able to respond initially but it was the way he continued to accelerate.
Alex Yee on Blummenfelt
“Credit to him, it was pretty superhuman. It’s to do with him being able to access all his run potential off the bike. Hats off to him. He does a lot of testing, which is clearly working.”
Now all eyes turn to Paris in 2024, when Yee will be 26 and hopefully in prime condition to bid for the top step on the podium again. He knows where improvement is needed most if he is to get there.
“Swimming is definitely my weaker discipline. Over the past year it’s been a massive focus here in Loughborough (where Yee is currently training with coach Adam Elliott). Just trying to get closer to that front pack.
“But I feel I’m getting closer. I’ve made some good progress. I feel like I just need a little bit more time. I’m in the right place now. I’m doing 30km a week of swimming when I used to do 21km. And Adam is able to work with the swimming physios and coaches at Loughborough.”