BBC BLOGS - Ollie Williams

Archives for June 2012

How can anyone stop the Brownlees?

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Ollie Williams | 08:46 UK time, Monday, 25 June 2012

Alistair Brownlee threatened to retire from triathlon 50 times. He barely trained for more than a month in his home Olympic year. He missed the first three races of this year's World Series.

And then he came back and beat a strong field by such a wide margin as to be almost ridiculous.

The senior Brownlee, aged 24, romped home in Kitzbuehel 50 seconds ahead of his 22-year-old brother, Jonny, and more than a minute in front of third-place Javier Gomez, the Spaniard who once ruled men's triathlon before the Brownlees ruined his fun.

How he must curse them. He has trained with them, raced alongside them for a French domestic team, gone up against them many times. They get along well. But they have taken his sport and moved it beyond the reach of Gomez or, for that matter, anyone else who cares to try.

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Emotion and anger as Olympic dreams die

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Ollie Williams | 10:35 UK time, Friday, 22 June 2012

Taekwondo has given Team GB its highest-profile selection drama yet ahead of a home Olympics, but the same scenes are playing out across many sports.

Britain will send a huge number of athletes to London 2012 but, for each athlete picked, others must tell family, friends and sponsors that they did not make it.

All the recent grief over Olympic selection has been well-publicised, chiefly world number one Aaron Cook's omission from the GB taekwondo team, leading some to wonder why things are so much worse this year than before any other Games.

In some respects, they aren't. Appeals are a fact of life ahead of any Olympics but this year's have gained more coverage because a home Games is on the horizon, which also accounts for the fact that some of the battles are more bitterly contested: the prize is that much greater, both psychologically and financially with sponsors showing great interest in sports they would never normally touch.

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