Brownlee wins the Olympic test event in Hyde ParkSince quitting Cambridge University in 2006 and moving to the University of Leeds, where he was able to concentrate fully on triathlon while studying a physiology and sport degree, Alistair Brownlee has wasted little time in rising to the top.
He first started competing in the junior ranks and made an instant impact, winning the junior world title in 2006 and then the junior European crown in 2007. World under-23 gold in 2008 was the next addition to his burgeoning CV, although finishing 12th in the Beijing Olympics meant success on the senior stage would have to wait.
He did not have to wait long, though, as in 2009 Brownlee left no one in any doubt who was the best triathlete on the planet. He won all five of the ITU World Championship events in which he competed that year to become the first man to win world titles in the junior, under-23 and senior ranks.
An injury sustained during winter training meant he missed the first half of 2010 and was unable to successfully defend his crown. However, he recovered to become European gold medallist for the first time, beating world champion Javier Gomez by some 40 seconds.
By 2011 Alistair's biggest rival was younger brother Jonathan. However, even family could not stand in his way of further European and world titles, the latter of which was sealed at the season-ending Grand Final in Beijing, marking a triumphant return to the scene of his Olympic debut. Many expect an Olympic gold in London to be the next step for the gritty Yorkshireman.