Commonwealth Games 2014: Dream team clinch gold for England in mixed triathlon as Vicky Holland and Jodie Stimpson join the Brownlee brothers in victory
Win sees the quartet complete a clean sweep of the gold medals in the triathlon events in Glasgow
Saturday 26 July 2014
England's dream team made it a clean sweep of gold medals in the Commonwealth Games triathlon with a dominant victory in the mixed relay.
Vicky Holland, Jonny Brownlee, Jodie Stimpson and Alistair Brownlee were all medallists in the individual events on Thursday, with the latter two winning gold.
And they never looked like being beaten as a team, Alistair Brownlee crossing the line 49 seconds ahead of second-placed South Africa, with Australia third.
Alistair Brownlee appeared fortunate to get away with stepping out of the changeover box as he took over from Stimpson, which could have incurred a 15-second penalty.
Not that it would have denied England victory, and he again sauntered down the finishing straight with a St George's Cross flag in hand.
The event, which involves each athlete completing a 250 metres swim, six-kilometre bike and 1.6km run, was making its debut at a major Games.
Britain won the world team championship in Hamburg two weeks ago with a weaker team and against stronger opposition so England went in as overwhelming favourites for gold.
But they were well aware what could go wrong after failing to finish at the world championships in 2013 when Non Stanford crashed on the bike.
Holland was the early leader but it was Canada's individual silver medallist Kirsten Sweetland who handed over in first place after a strong run.
Northern Ireland and New Zealand were also up with the lead group, but they had both put their strongest woman on the first leg.
Jonny Brownlee took over from Holland and the four leaders formed a pack on the bike.
The England athlete made a break for it over the final 500 metres but then gave his advantage away with a poor transition.
Spurred on by that, he sprinted past his rivals immediately and by the time he handed over to Stimpson, he had built a lead of 16 seconds over New Zealand.
Nicky Samuels worked hard to catch Stimpson on the bike but the England athlete quickly pulled away on the run to give her fellow individual champion Alistair Brownlee a nine-second head start over Ryan Sissons.
The race was hotting up behind him, with Northern Ireland having fallen away but Australia, South Africa and Canada all in contention.
They quickly caught Sissons and it was no surprise that it was individual bronze medallist Richard Murray who surged ahead to take silver ahead of Ryan Bailie.
Alistair Brownlee told BBC1 the mixed relay event was "fantastic" and a great way of testing athletes' "strengths and weaknesses".
Holland, asked if she thought the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should consider including it on the Olympic programme, said: " I really hope so. Just look at the atmosphere it generates.
"The lead changes so often. It's a great spectator event. Guys and girls in the same race - it's unique."
Jonny Brownlee told BBC1: "The relays are always pretty close and this one was until Alistair's leg."
Stimpson said: "It's been an incredible couple of days. We knew the pressure was on us because we were all on the podium for the individual event.
"However, I'm been in these dream teams before and it's not worked out, so I wasn't hanging the medal around our necks before the race. Things can always go wrong but thankfully we got our tactics spot on.
"The Olympic distance hurts like hell but this hurts too, probably because you are racing for a team and putting everything on the line for them."
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