Alistair Brownlee‘s chances of trying for a third straight Olympic triathlon title in two years amount to a coin flip.
“Tokyo is 50-50 at the moment,” the Brit Brownlee said, according to the Press Association. “Going into next year I’m going to start deciding whether to look at the Olympics, or whether I’m going to focus on doing the longer stuff over the next 18 months.
“The full Ironman is potentially not too far away. It depends on the decision I make going into next year.”
Brownlee will contest just his second Olympic-distance triathlon since September 2016 at the European Championships in Glasgow on Friday. Then he will turn his focus back to longer distances with a 140.6-mile Ironman, nearly four times the Olympic distance, not out of the question.
He is expected to compete in the half Ironman world championships in South Africa next month.
The 2008 Olympic triathlon champion Jan Frodeno of Germany transitioned to Ironman, winning two 140.6 world titles. One of Brownlee’s biggest rivals in Olympic distance-racing, Spaniard Javier Gómez, is a two-time half Ironman world champion.
“All triathletes have the ambition to do the almost mystical Ironman World Championships in Hawaii,” Brownlee said in 2016, according to the BBC. “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.”
It’s still a possibility, even though Brownlee has been set back by hip surgery and a calf injury in the last year. He won lower-level half Ironmans in Utah in May 2017 and Dubai six months ago, then placed 10th in the Commonwealth Games sprint-distance triathlon in April. He won another Ironman 70.3 in China the following week.
Brownlee was due to return to the ITU World Series circuit for Olympic hopefuls in June but withdrew before a race in Leeds, citing “a few niggles.”
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