London 2012 Star Smashes Abu Dhabi International Triathlon Short Course Record To Win
Created On: 03 March 2013
In his Arabian debut, London 2012 Gold medal winner, Great
Britain's Alistair Brownlee, smashed the Abu Dhabi International
Triathlon short course record on his way to clinching his first win
since the Olympic Games last summer.
Suited up in the colours of the Union Jack, the 24-year-old
Yorkshireman looked every inch the champion in Abu Dhabi. Having
spent much of his winter training acclimatising to the warm Arabian
temperatures, the hard work paid off for the back-to-back European
Triathlon Union champion as he finished the 111.5kms pure power
course in 3h 20m18s - 29 seconds ahead of the previous record, set
in 2010 by Dutchman Jan Van Berkel.
And Brownlee, who is used to the shorter Olympic distances and
is in Abu Dhabi to expand his competitive horizons, was full of
praise to the thousands of fans who turned out to cheer him over
"It is a good race to do for an introduction to longer distances
and I would like to do more, but right now my focus us is on the
ITU circuit. Thanks so much for all the support, it was fantastic,
and well done to all those that raced, I hope you all do it again!"
said Brownlee, whose win will send shockwaves through the long
In the race build up, Brownlee spent time in Abu Dhabi's second
city of Al Ain, training in the lush oases and open spaces that
characterise the emirate's heritage heartland. And on race day, the
young Briton was in fine fettle, coming out of the water in the
opening 1.5kms swim leg comfortably positioned.
With a cycle distance of 100kms more than Brownlee is used to,
pundits tipped the following bike section to be the make or break
for the youngster, and it nearly proved to be true. After taking a
wrong turn on the circuit, Brownlee lost ground and was overtaken
by Dutchman Cesar Beilo - who won the Abu Dhabi short course in
Coming into the final 10kms run, Brownlee was nestled in second
place. Having conserved his energy on the bike, the look of
determination on his face was easy to see at the final transition.
With thousands of fans lined up to cheer him on, the Olympic golden
boy dug deep to make light work of the final run, bringing it home
in emphatic style.
"I was swimming very fast in the beginning, apologies to anyone
we might have kicked on the way through," joked Brownlee on the Abu
Dhabi finish line.
"The bike was a challenge. I saw a sign on the bike course and
thought that was where I needed to go; it was only when I got back
on the course I realised I had been there before. I tried to pace
it quite well, but I have no idea how to pace 100kms on a bike, but
it seemed to go ok.
"I felt tired towards the end, but I didn't have to push too
hard, which was good as it was getting hot; it's a bit of a shock
as it is zero degrees back home and nearly 30 here, but it was
early morning so I didn't struggle too much."
Beilo took second place, more than five minutes behind Brownlee,
with Russia's Alexander Bryukhankov taking third. Egyptian star,
Omar Nour, finished in seventh place, making him the highest Arab
athlete on the day.
Event organiser, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA
Abu Dhabi), said that Brownlee's win would be a huge inspiration to
local athletes and it hoped to see more kids get into the sport
because of it.
"Brownlee is a true champion and has been a winner both on and
off the course this week, helping to inspire a future generation of
athletes to take up the sport and embrace healthy lifestyles," said
Faisal Al Sheikh, Director of Events Bureau, TCA Abu Dhabi.
Photo: TCA Abu Dhabi