Dickinson BEATS Brownlee to lay claim to final British Olympic Games triathlon spot after thriller in Poland

The British Olympic selection showdown provided a classic showdown in Poland - we have a full report and results.

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Sam Dickinson claimed a thrilling victory over British rival Jonny Brownlee at Europe Triathlon Cup Kielce on Sunday to lay claim to the final spot on the team for the Olympic Games at Paris 2024.

With a decision on who will join Alex Yee in Paris still very much in the melting pot, Brownlee headed for this unlikely showdown in Poland along with rivals Dickinson and new sensation Hugo Milner.

We said before the race that fans watching the hastily-arranged live stream on YouTube should get the popcorn ready with three men trying to prove to the selectors that they should be on the plane to France in a few short weeks. And that prediction proved correct as we got a thrilling race to remember.


All down to a thrilling run

Dickinson and Brownlee were both at the head of a lead pack of five men who forced the pace relentlessly through the bike leg of the Super Sprint final, heading into transition together with a race potentially for all of the Olympic marbles moving onto the closing 2k run.

The run was a truly breathless affair, with the magnitude of the occasion bringing the absolute best out of both Dickinson and Brownlee.

In the end in came down to the final 200 metres, when Dickinson produced one final finishing kick to force his way clear of the attentions of Brownlee and Germany’s Henry Graf.

Dickinson really laid it all on the line to come home in front of Graf, with Brownlee just three seconds back in third. Milner meanwhile would come home in 13th in a time of 22:40 – his Olympic dreams likely needing to wait until Los Angeles in 2028.


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Middle distance racing awaits?

For Brownlee, this past Olympic cycle has been a real struggle, with the Yorkshireman picking up just three podiums and a solitary win since finishing fifth in the individual race three years ago in Tokyo.

Last year, performances such as a 51st place finish at the Paris Test event and 35th at the WTCS Finals in Pontevedra highlighted the growing gulf between the most decorated Olympic triathlete and his competition.

After a run of three medals in three Olympic Games, Paris will almost certainly mark the end of Brownlee’s illustrious short course career, and despite his success in the Super League Triathlon Championship Series in 2023, justifying his selection over Dickinson will be a tough task.

For Dickinson, who since the start of this Olympic cycle has featured heavily in England and Great Britain’s mixed team relay squads, Paris may well be his last attempt at making the Olympic Games.

After signing with Team BMC at the beginning of 2024, the 26-year-old has a bright future ahead of him in non-draft triathlon, and has already tasted success over the middle distance with a podium in Bahrain in 2022.

Regardless of who gets selected to the Olympic team, it looks likely that both Brownlee and Dickinson will follow the natural course of triathlon progression and try their hand at middle distance racing in the near future.


Selectors face nightmare choice

Now, it is over to the selectors, who face an incredibly difficult decision in the next few days. Their choice is expected to be made official by around June 10.

Do they take the proven Olympic medal-winning experience of Brownlee? Or Dickinson’s Mixed Relay skills and potential to really aid Yee’s golden push as a domestique in the individual race.

Who would be a selector?

Europe Triathlon Cup Kielce results 2024

Sunday June 2, 2024 – Kielce, Poland

  1. Sam Dickinson (GBR) – 22:10
  2. Henry Graf (GER) – 22:12
  3. Jonny Brownlee (GBR) – 22:13
Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.
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