I'm racing to win again - Jonny

The Brownlee brothers are expected to go head to head for gold once again

The Brownlee brothers are expected to go head to head for gold once again

First published in National Sport News © by

Freed from the pressure of maintaining a remarkable podium streak, Jonny Brownlee has vowed to take the race to brother Alistair in Thursday's Commonwealth Games triathlon.

Between 2010 and May 2014, the 24-year-old finished in the top three in every race, winning Olympic bronze and the world title in 2012.

But in back-to-back World Triathlon Series races in Yokohama and London, he could only finish fifth. It was a blow but also a blessing.

Jonny goes into the Glasgow Games on a podium streak of one after finishing third in Hamburg earlier this month, and he is ready to throw everything into trying to beat Olympic champion Alistair.

"In a way, I quite like not having a podium streak, because it was playing on my mind," he told Press Association Sport.

"It was a lot of pressure. I stood on the start-line and there were lots of other people who didn't have anything to lose, whereas I had a podium streak to lose.

"That definitely affected me in races. I wouldn't chase a break, because I was thinking, 'If I sit here, I'll still come third'.

"Hopefully now I can race more aggressively and enjoy racing again. It's back to the pure side of racing and just racing to win."

Jonny started the season in decent form, although he was well beaten by big Spanish rival Javier Gomez in both Auckland and Cape Town.

Then came the disappointments in Yokohama and London, which left him questioning everything in his training and preparation.

"I think I over-trained a little bit in the winter and then lacked that real top-end training," he said.

"Not having Alistair training with me definitely affected that because he's a guy when the coach tells you to run round at a certain pace, he tries to run five seconds quicker. I definitely missed that and I got a few little things wrong."

Alistair was recovering from his now customary early-season injury problems and was out of sorts when he returned, finishing one place ahead of his brother in Yokohama and Hyde Park.

But, as usual, Alistair appears to have timed things right, winning the European Championships and the race in Hamburg.

Jonny's only victories over Alistair at the Olympic - and Commonwealth - distance of a 1.5-kilometres swim, 40km bike and 10km run have come when his brother has had injury or illness problems, but he hopes that can change on Thursday.

"Alistair's very fit," Jonny said. "This course definitely suits him. It's a very hard bike and it suits his aggressive racing, but I'll try my best. In training we've been very similar so all I can do is try - again."

Alistair's win percentage in the biggest races is remarkable, b ut the 26-year-old admitted even he has doubts on the rare occasions when he does not cross the line first.

He said: "The first two world series races I did this season I came fourth twice, and it's like, 'Oh my God, I've come fourth, I'm never going to win a race ever again'.

"You do it to win races and do as well as you can, and every extra race you win becomes a bit more special in some ways - especially a race like the Commonwealths, which I've never had the chance to race before.

"This is really important. The world series is fantastic, but we have it every year in the same cities and that makes it tough. It's good to have something a bit different."

The brothers will represent England for the first time in triathlon after the sport was brought back into the programme following its omission in 2010.

Hampshire athlete Aaron Harris was selected as the third member of the team after top-10 finishes in Cape Town and Yokohama and has the advantage of having competed three times before at Strathclyde Country Park.

"I'd be happy with a top 10," he said. "I just want to get to the start-line with a clear head and focus. I'm 12th in the world rankings, which compared to the last few years is a massive achievement.

"To have a breakthrough year clears your head. I see the Commonwealth Games selection as a bonus."

Richard Murray is the only man in the field to have beaten the Brownlees this season but the South African is not the strongest swimmer and the brothers will certainly work together to make it a fast swim and bike before fighting it out on the run.

Alistair is intent on seeing off his brother again, adding: "I got the better of him in Hamburg, which I think hurt him a little bit. I'm hoping his confidence has taken a knock after that."

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