Great Britain

Alistair Brownlee admits he may not go for Olympic hat-trick after fleeing US before coronavirus shuts borders

ALISTAIR BROWNLEE  remains undecided over whether he will go for a hat-trick of Olympic crowns.

The triathlon hero has already won another race-against-time dash last week as he hopped on one of the last few flights home before the US borders slammed shut.

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Brownlee, who won Olympic gold in London and Rio, had hoped to race in Tokyo this summer but accepts it was the right call to postpone the Games to 2021 because of coronavirus fears.

The Dewsbury-born 31-year-old has battled back from long-term injuries to get himself fit but harbours ambitions of moving soon into Ironman triathlon.

Brownlee, currently self-isolating at home, said: “I’m genuinely not sitting on the fence here but I think it’s important to take stock now. I’m back in the UK, focusing on staying healthy.

“Of course, I’d love to be there and it’s only a year, and it would be easy to say I hung on for this one and it’s only a year. But sport is a funny thing. A year ago, I didn’t think I’d be in this position where I’d have a shot of doing OK.

“Another year, who knows? We will have to see. It’s important not to make the decision too quick.”

Brownlee and younger brother Jonny,  29, arrived home last Wednesday,  having escaped their training base in Santa Fe in New Mexico as worldwide flights were canned.

The Yorkshireman said: “Last Monday we heard rumblings the Olympics would be postponed. Almost at exactly the same time, the Foreign Office advised British citizens to come home quick before it was too late.

“While the Olympics were on, our decision-making process was that we needed to prepare absolutely in the best possible way.

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“But there was a scenario we’d be stuck abroad, then the Olympics would be cancelled — that was the worst case.

“It was hard to book on the internet. There weren’t many flights available and we had to do a funny route.

“At Boston airport, I think 19 of the 20 transatlantic flights  were cancelled and ours wasn’t. It did feel sketchy.

“Finally, we stepped on a BA flight at Boston airport and it was like, ‘Phew!’

“It is the right thing — not to have a major sporting event where many of its resources  could potentially be used more effectively to help sick people.

“It’s important it was done now. The IOC were coming under pressure. This is such a fast-moving thing.

“Of course, winning another Olympic gold medal would be the highlight — but let’s get there first!”

Alistair Brownlee is supporting adidas #hometeam – a  series of free virtual events and experiences. Find out more @adidaslondon on Instagram and @adidasuk on Twitter

Olympics postponed as Tokyo 2020 is latest sporting event crushed by coronavirus and pushed back until 2021

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