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Team GB triathletes ready to make history

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The men’s Olympic triathlon will take place on Thursday on Copacabana Beach, followed by the women’s race on Saturday.

Boyed by the success of Team GB so far, Britain’s triathletes are looking forward to the challenging Rio course, which features eight ascents of a tough climb during the bike course.

The men’s team, featuring defending champion, Alistair Brownlee has had ideal preparation at altitude in St. Moritz followed by a camp in Pirassununga, São Paulo. Arriving in Rio only today, Brownlee is looking forward to taking on the tough course and is looking to be the first triathlete to defend an Olympic title.

He commented: “It’s a tough, hilly course that really suits me, and I’m genuinely excited about the race.”

Olympic bronze medallist from London 2012, Jonathan Brownlee, is hoping to go at least one better in Rio, he said: “I’m feeling ready, this is the best preparation we’ve had for a few years.”

Supporting them will be 22 year-old Leeds and Team GB team mate, Gordon Benson. He said: “This is my first Olympics and the chance to be part of a medal-winning team is a massive opportunity that I am loving every minute of.”

The women’s race takes place on Saturday with Helen Jenkins, Non Stanford and Vicky Holland all with medal chances. Team GB has never won a women’s triathlon medal and Jenkins in particular will look to build on her fifth place in London.

She said: “The support of the team around me has made a massive difference over the last few years, and even more so the last few weeks in helping me prepare as well as I could have wanted.”

Stanford said: “Having watched so many great Team GB performances I can’t help but feel inspired about my first Olympics.”

Holland added: “My preparation has been better than I could have hoped for and I will head to Rio feeling happy, relaxed and confident.”

British Triathlon Performance Director, Brendan Purcell is expecting the hill on the bike course to be decisive, and the team has prepared specifically to handle the steep climb and technical descent.

Just as it did in 2012, British Triathlon hopes the Olympic Games will encourage more people to take up triathlon. The number of triathlon events increased by 63% from 2012 to 2016, with on average 24 events per week across Great Britain. Growth has also been seen across all demographics with 88% growth in Home Nation membership amongst women, and 169% growth amongst young people aged 16-18.

Newcomers to the sport can prepare to be inspired and can create their personal triathlon with #YourGOTRI at gotri.org/yourgotri.

How to watch:

Men’s race, Thursday 18 August 3pm – live via BBC TV and online

Women’s race, Saturday 20 August 3pm– live via BBC TV and online

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