At the 2013 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, held on Sunday, September 15, in London, Jonathan Brownlee “gave it everything,” as he told the BBC, and that was nearly enough to grab his second world title in a row.
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old British triathlete, Spain’s Javier Gomez came on strong at the finish, outsprinting him in the final meters of the 10K run and grabbing his third world title. Gomez won by just one second, finishing in a time of 1:48:16.
As triathlon fans know, Brownlee isn’t the only world-class triple threat in his family. His brother Alistair—the world champion in 2009 and 2011—came into Sunday’s event first in the overall standings.
The 25-year-old has been fighting ankle injuries, however, and his 52nd-place finish dropped him to fourth on the year.
“I'm so glad this whole year is over,” Alistair said. “It's been an absolute nightmare.”
Alistair was also disappointed in his brother’s performance; after the race, he called Jonathan “a complete tactical numpty” for following the race strategy he did. Had Jonathan waited slightly longer to begin his final kick, Alistair believes, he might have held on for the win.
"I saw him make his move with 250 meters to go and I thought ‘Wwhat an idiot,’” Alistair said, according to Yahoo Eurosport.
Jonathan, not surprisingly, chose to see things another way.
"Alistair wanted me to use my brain and to think about it,” Jonathan said. “I did use my head as much as I could.”
"When it is so close, you ask yourself, ‘What could I have done differently?’” he added. “But when you get beaten by 30 seconds, you just think ‘He was better than me.’”
Gomez’s countryman Mario Malo finished third on the year.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg