Olympic icons the Brownlee brothers lead Abu Dhabi triathlon field

Decorated duo going for glory at the ITU World Triathlon Series


By Chris Maxwell

© ITP Images

Olympic heroes the Brownlee bothers will be on their marks for global glory as the ITU World Triathlon Series makes a huge return to Abu Dhabi.

Brotherly love will be temporarily cast aside while the superstar siblings do battle alongside a star-studded field at the Yas Island sporting spectacular on March 2 and 3.

Two time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and younger brother Jonathan, who himself scooped bronze and silver in the London and Rio Olympics respectively, have dominated the super tough endurance sport over the past decade.
They will be cycling, swimming and running in pursuit of victory once again, against stern competition from the very best triathletes on the planet as the championships gets underway in the capital.

Jonathan Brownlee can’t wait to kick off another gruelling season in Abu Dhabi, saying: “Abu Dhabi is an awesome location for the season-opening WTS race. I raced on the Corniche course back in 2015, and am excited to check out the new course on Yas Island. The weather in March in Abu Dhabi will be perfect – a far cry from the conditions we have experienced in the UK this winter. Everyone knows that we both give 110 percent when we race and Abu Dhabi will be no different. We’ll definitely be putting on a show for the crowds in March!”

Brother Alistair added: “I'm definitely keen to get out there and race in March - the new course on the F1 track looks really good for a sprint distance race. I'm looking forward to toeing the line against a top field in Abu Dhabi to see where I am after coming back from injury - it's no secret that I'll be looking to be competitive, especially with the Commonwealth Games coming up in April."

The star of last year’s women’s elite race, Andrea Hewitt, will also be back in the capital a year on from her thrilling victory over defending champion Jodie Stimpson.

Hewitt said: “I’m delighted to be returning to Abu Dhabi this year, a place that holds some amazing memories for me following my first-place finish last year. The 2017 race was a turning point for me both personally and professionally.

I had trained so hard, went into the race in good form and knew that I had a chance of doing well. To pick up the gold-medal, the way I did, it was an overwhelming sense of emotion - I think that showed at the finish line.”

Organisers have announced that the fourth annual ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi will be a test event for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, which will see more than 7,000 athletes descend on the UAE next March.

Peter Wheeler, CEO of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 said: “The ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events on the UAE’s calendar and we are delighted to be using this as a test event for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. The event, its ethos and desire to make sport inclusive mirrors our belief that anyone can enjoy and compete in sports. We’re extremely excited for race week and look forward to seeing all the participants and spectators cheering on their family, friends and sporting heroes.”

A mixture of elite, amateur and junior triathletes will also be able to test their skills on the challenging Yas Island course, following in the footsteps and tyre tracks of some of the world’s best.

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said; “Triathlon is a sport which encompasses everything we work hard to achieve here at Abu Dhabi Sports Council – it welcomes people from all walks of life – irrespective of age, gender, nationality or ability - to search for that unique sense of achievement."

"This particular event is special because it welcomes 120 of the world’s best triathletes, to race alongside seasoned amateurs, first-timers and children. I’m thrilled to announce that four of the most exciting triathletes in the world are confirmed to race in Abu Dhabi, where I’ll also be under-taking my first ever triathlon and I hope to see you all beside me on the start line in March!”

March 2-3. Yas Island,

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