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Jonny Brownlee admits Olympics will feel "very different" without Alistair

Jonny Brownlee admits Olympics will feel
© Reuters
Jonny Brownlee and Alex Yee will make up the British men's team in Tokyo.

Jonny Brownlee is convinced it is his own "time to shine" in Tokyo but admits the absence of his double Olympic champion brother Alistair alongside him on the triathlon start line will have a major impact.

Alistair Brownlee's exclusion from the team for Japan was confirmed on Monday when the British Olympic Association announced Alex Yee as the second member of the men's team for the Games.

The 23-year-old had effectively sealed the decision by storming to victory in the World Triathlon Series race in Leeds last week while Alistair, who has been struggling with an ankle injury, was disqualified during the swim.

Jonny Brownlee told the PA news agency: "I have been very fortunate to have Alistair next to me on the start-line in the last two Olympics and without him it is going to feel very, very different.

"But I like to think that I will be able to deal with it and it will hopefully be my time to shine now. These Olympics are going to be so different and this is just another little difference in the grand scheme of things."

Jonny Brownlee, two years his brother's junior, had grown used to battling away in Alistair's shadow, first in London when he had to settle for bronze and again in Rio when he trailed his brother into the silver medal position.

Alistair Brownlee leads Jonny during the 2016 Olympics
Alistair Brownlee leads Jonny during the 2016 Olympics (Mike Egerton/PA)..

Increasingly, however, while Alistair courted a future in the Ironman discipline, Jonny Brownlee's persistence saw him emerge as a greater threat, culminating in his impressive World Triathlon Series win in Italy last month.

His roar of delight at crossing the finish line emphasised his conviction that he will head to Tokyo capable of sustaining the family hold on gold – whilst banking on his brother's help from home.

He added: "Alistair will still be there as someone to talk to, because there's no-one better to seek advice from than the double Olympic champion.

"I'll ask him when I have doubts about whether I'm training right, whether I've done things right and how I can do things better.

"One of the my proudest things in sport is that I have never felt jealousy towards what he has achieved. I've never crossed a finish line and thought, 'Why is it him winning all the time and not me?'

"I think Ali is relieved the whole process is over now, the last few months have been turmoil for him with his injury, and he can now focus on surgery and rehabilitation. And he will always be on the end of the phone."

2021 ITU World Triathlon Series Event – Day 2 – Leeds
Alex Yee booked his Olympic place with victory in Leeds (Danny Lawson/PA)

Yee expressed his delight at being confirmed in the Great Britain team, having watched the Brownlee brothers surge to the top two places on the podium in London eight years ago.

"I know it's a cliche, but I'm over the moon," said Yee.

"I was massively inspired after watching London 2012 in my home city and now to be selected to represent Team GB after the delay, Covid and the challenges everyone has been through, I am delighted."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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