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Alistair Brownlee stepping away from ITU for two years

Brownlee at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Brownlee at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

In an interview with BBC, Alistair Brownlee announced that he will step away from ITU racing for two years to shift his focus to Ironman and 70.3 racing.

“I’m going to pursue things away from Olympic triathlon,” says the two-time Olympic gold-medallist.  “It’s important I have a different focus. I’ve been to three Olympics and I can’t say I won’t definitely be at a fourth.”

Brownlee is targeting the iconic Ironman World Championship in Kona, but acknowledges two years is a tight gap to qualify for and race on the Big Island.

“It’s very unlikely that I could do it in the next two years, but I could build up my endurance then maybe go back to it after Tokyo as a 32-year-old,” he says.

In an earlier interview, Brownlee said he would likely aim for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennesse next summer. At the time he did not specify that he would step away from the WTS circuit for two years to pursue that goal.

Brownlee also spoke to BBC about the attention he and his younger brother Jonathan received after their dramatic finish at Septmber’s ITU Grand Final in Cozumel, Mexico.

“Both Jonny and I were really quite uncomfortable with the attention that came out of that day, especially while Jonny was in intensive care and the jury were deliberating on whether we should be disqualified,” he said.

“The scale of the after-effect was incredible and, to be honest, completely baffling. We were both embarrassed at first and wanted to turn down all the attention, but we realized it gave us a platform to talk about triathlon and encourage people to get active.”