By Peter Holmes on 01/10/09 at 8:33 pm
World Champion Alistair Brownlee was honoured at a civic reception in his home city having put Leeds’s sporting name firmly in lights.
Also honoured was Brownlee’s younger brother Jonathan, 19, who won the European Junior Triathlon Championships in Holland in July before finishing second in the World Junior Championships in Australia earlier this month, the day after his elder brother’s victory in the senior event.
“You do it for the love of the sport but it is nice to be recognised,” said Brownlee. “I’ve never had anything like this before but it’s really nice. It’s been an absolutely fantastic year for me really, right from the start. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and to win that last race to become world champion, it doesn’t get much better.”
Brownlee is now having a well-earned rest following a gruelling season but will return to training next week. However, long term he admits it is of glory at the London 2012 Olympic Games which he and his younger brother both dream. Alistair knows big things will be expected of him but the Leeds athlete will take matters one step at a time.
“I am massively excited about the Olympics, the Olympics are huge for any athlete but the fact that they are in England as well is unbelievable,” he said. “But it’s still a few years away yet and we’ll take it one step at a time.”
Leeds’ mayor admits the fever is building ahead of London 2012.
“We are delighted to be honouring these three fantastic athletes and saying well done to them on their wonderful successes on behalf of the city,” said Councilor Elliott.
“Sporting achievement in Leeds is going from strength to strength and it is looking very exciting as we look towards the 2012 Olympic Games in London and even more success for athletes from our city.”