YORKSHIRE'S Alistair Brownlee became Great Britain’s first Olympic champion in triathlon with a brilliant performance in front of a huge crowd in Hyde Park while his brother Jonny picked up a bronze medal.
Britain had never even won a medal in the sport before but Dewsbury-born Alistair went into the race as the defending champion and hot favourite having dominated triathlon over the last four years.
Jonny had been tipped for silver but had to give way to Spain’s Javier Gomez, while the Yorkshireman’s hopes were not helped by a penalty for getting on his bike too early.
Richard Varga led out the swim in the Serpentine with the Brownlees, who have been training alongside the Slovakian, in close attendance.
They came out of the water in fourth and sixth but it was two-time world champion Gomez who shot off on the bike and a group of five, including both of the brothers, quickly formed.
The third member of the British team, Stuart Hayes, had a good swim, coming out of the water in eighth, but he was not able to make the break and ended up in the second group.
There was heartbreak for Canada’s flag-bearer Simon Whitfield, the Olympic champion in Sydney and the silver medallist in Beijing, as he crashed very early on the first lap and was forced to pull out.
By the end of the first lap the front group had a lead of 20 seconds but that gradually came down and on the third lap they were caught.
That allowed Hayes to move to the front and take up his job as the Brownlees’ domestique, but Jonny’s hopes of a medal were hit when it was confirmed he would need to serve a 15-second penalty.
Click below for a gallery of action shots from the gruelling event
Alistair tried to jump away on the sixth lap but Jonny did not go with him and he was quickly reeled back in.