In an evening aimed at celebrating an outstanding summer of success for British Triathlon, Alistair Brownlee was named 2009 Olympic Athlete of the Year and British Triathlon Male Athlete of the Year.
The prestigious awards rounded off an exceptional season for the Yorkshire athlete who was triumphant at five Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series races and crowned world champion on Australia’s Gold Coast in September. The 21 year old commented after receiving his award at the British Triathlon Annual Awards Dinner: “It’s fantastic; it’s great to win all these awards.” When asked about his plans for 2010 Alistair was keen not to rest on his laurels adding: “[I want to] win the European Championships, it’s one thing I didn’t manage to win this year. That would be great [and I would like to] carry on getting experience and build up, on the road to 2012.”
Andy Hunt, Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association, said: “Alistair Brownlee has had an incredible season, winning five ITU World Championship Series races and ultimately the World Championship title. His attitude and commitment to the sport is inspiring. With no fewer than four medals, including two world champions from the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Australia, the future of triathlon looks bright in the run up to London 2012 Olympic Games.”
It was a double celebration for the Brownlee family, with younger brother and ETU Triathlon Junior European champion Jonathan winning British Triathlon Junior Athlete of the Year. Elder brother Alistair said: “It’s fantastic for both of us, we are competing most days in training and at the end of the day it just brings us both along and makes us who we are.”
The evening also recognised triathlon’s high profile female achievers. Helen Jenkins won the British Triathlon Female Athlete of the Year for the second year in succession following four top five finishes in the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series including a bronze medal in the Grand Final and top five world ranking position.
Helen who now lives in Wales commented: “It’s great. It’s the second year I have won it, so I didn’t really expect it again. It’s nice to be recognised by the people who are in the British Triathlon Federation. It’s been a great year for triathlon [with] so many World Champions and gold medals over all disciplines - it’s a privilege to be a part of that. We all just go out there and train as hard as we can every day, and this is the good bit that’s comes after all that training. There is a good atmosphere in British Triathlon at the moment in general and hopefully that will carry on.”
Hollie Avil, 19 years of age, won the British Triathlon Junior Female Athlete of the Year Award, following a phenomenal season winning gold in the women’s ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships. “It was a big shock, but I forget I am still a Junior at 19 and it’s nice to be reminded of that when you are racing up there with the seniors,” she said. “I have just enjoyed racing at the senior level and U23, getting more experience in the bag, and really can’t wait for the next three years up to London 2012.”
British Triathlon Annual Award Winners
British Triathlon Male Elite Triathlete of the year – Alistair Brownlee
British Triathlon Female Elite Triathlete of the year – Helen Jenkins
British Triathlon Male Junior Triathlete of the year – Jonathan Brownlee
British Triathlon Female Junior Triathlete of the year – Hollie Avil
British Triathlon Male Elite Long Distance Triathlete of the year – Phillip Graves
British Triathlon Female Elite Long Distance Triathlete of the year – Chrissie Wellington
British Triathlon Male Elite Duathlete of the year – Richard Hobby
British Triathlon Female Elite Duathlete of the year – Catriona Morrison