Team England announces Commonwealth Games Triathlon team for Gold Coast
Defending Champion, Jodie Stimpson, will not race at the 2018 Games
Having raced over the longer distances in 2017, with some success – wins at Challenge Gran Canaria and IRONMAN 70.3 St. George – it would appear that Alistair Brownlee is not ready, yet at least, to fully turn his attentions away from short distance, draft-legal racing. Today it was confirmed that he will race for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next April, defending the two Gold medals that he won three years ago in Glasgow.
Jodie Stimpson – who also won double Gold in Glasgow – was not named in the team that was announced this morning, the selected trio are Sophie Coldwell, Vicky Holland and Jess Learmonth.
The winner, for the second consecutive year, of his home race at the World Triathlon Series Leeds in 2017 (achieved a week after a DNF at The Championship in Samorin), will be racing over the Sprint distance in Australia, the event having been reduced in distance from the Olympic Distance format in Glasgow.
A sign for Tokyo 2020?
Hoping to challenge for honours at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship this year, Brownlee’s season came to an early end in August following surgery on a ‘chronic hip problem’. Speaking briefly to Alistair in Bahrain this past week, he confirmed that the surgery had gone well and he is back swimming, cycling and has started some jogging on the road to full recovery. With home soil motivation, he’ll be facing an Australian trio of Jake Birtwhistle, Matt Hauser and Luke Willian next year.
Alistair has always said post-Rio that his decision on whether to target Tokyo 2020 and a third Olympic Gold medal would be made at the end of 2018, reviewing his experiences over the first two seasons of his transition / experimentation with long distance racing.
His selection and desire to race would suggest that he is not yet ready to walk away from Gold medals in draft-legal racing just yet.
(We are expecting an extended announcement to follow shortly from Team England, and will update this article later today)
The Full Team
Back in March 2016 (HERE), it was announced that the PT1 (wheelchair) category would form part of the programme in Gold Coast. Team England will feature four athletes, Joe Townsend, Mark Conway, Jade Jones and Lizzie Tench.