Alistair Brownlee aiming for Olympic triathlon comeback at Tokyo 2020
Alistair Brownlee has said he aims to compete at the Tokyo Olympics despite publicly conceding last year that he saw his regular-distance triathlon career as over.
The 32-year-old, who won gold at the 2012 and 2016 Games, looked to have come to the end of his Olympic career following an injury-hit period which saw him finish in 44th place at his last Olympic-distance race. His last win in the World Series came in June 2017.
In June last year, he qualified for the Ironman World Championships after winning his debut event in Ireland, and that appeared to signal a new direction for the discipline's most lauded competitor.
But Brownlee, who has registered 37 wins in 70 triathlon starts across a distinguished 10-year career, has announced a surprise u-turn seven months ahead of the start of the Tokyo games.
"But in the past year I haven't been injured. I've really enjoyed training and I've really enjoyed competing, and preparing to compete.
"And so the decision crept up on me a bit: I want to go to another Olympics, and I want to see what I might be able to do.
"The people around me - I think most of them expected it, even though I didn't expect it myself. But I do feel quite good about it."
Alistair Brownlee (GBR) of Great Britain celebrates his gold medal as Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) of Great Britain runs to the finish line for silver medal in the Rio triathlonReuters
Brownlee is also seeking election on to the International Olympic Committee's athletes' commission in 2020, aiming to win the right alongside 11 other Olympians to represent the views of athletes to the those in power.
If successful in the secret ballot to be held ahead of the games, he will serve an eight-year term on the commission, but first will face the hurdle of attempting to win a third gold in a highly competitive field.
"I'm happy, because I want to be racing on the biggest stage, and being competitive," he said. "The 12-year-old me dreamed of going to one Olympics. So to pass up the chance of just seeing where it leads me this year would be a bit mad.
"It's quite easy to get carried away and think, I'll only go if I can win medals.
"Well maybe, but I need to look at it one step at a time. Do some World Series racing, see how competitive I am. Try to qualify, see how that goes."