Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee sidelined for rest of 2017 season after hip surgery

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Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee confirmed on Saturday he will be sidelined for the rest of the year after hip surgery.

Brownlee, who has moved up from triathlon to tackle the Ironman 70.3 series this year, had been left with no choice but to have the procedure after battling with the injury for several years.

Posting on Instagram alongside a picture of himself in the Yorkshire Dales, Brownlee said: “After years of struggling with a chronic hip problem, I go under the knife. It has been a tough decision but suffering from an acute flare I am left with little option.

“Unfortunately it will take me away from competing for the rest of the year but I hope it will enable me to continue doing what I love for many years to come. In the meantime I’ll get to enjoy a bit of Yorkshire relaxation which is a rare treat.”

Brownlee returned to triathlon in June to win the World Series event in Leeds and had earned a place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship after winning on his debut in Utah in May.

The 29-year-old was a gold medallist at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics Brownlee and brother Jonny were also set to compete in the Super League Triathlon in Jersey in September.

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IN PICS: Thousands of amateurs take on Abu Dhabi Triathlon

A record 2,500 age group participants from 52 countries raced in the ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi on the same course as World Champions and Olympic medallists this weekend at Yas Island.

With a 39% percent field increase since the event launched in 2015, this year’s event – hosted by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council – saw thousands take part.

The event featured three distances to suit people of all experience levels – Sprint, Olympic and Maxi – as well as junior races for children aged 5 years and up.

An eclectic mix of participants turned out with nationalities ranging from Thailand, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Philippines, Germany, Egypt, Russia, Romania, USA, Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Bahrain, Turkey, Switzerland, Netherlands, Indonesia to Cyprus and more.

One of the fastest Emirati triathletes on the course was Faisal Bin Hajar, part of a six man team representing Abu Dhabi Police at the race.

“The feeling you get when you cross the finish line is indescribable,” he said. “I’ve been doing triathlon for a year and I am immensely enjoying the multi-sport discipline.”

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Briton puts Rio disappointment behind him with first WTS podium

Matt Jones 5/03/2017
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Bishop battled hard.

Thomas Bishop was celebrating the “best result of my life” and a first-ever ITU World Triathlon Series podium after he went toe to toe with five-time champion Javier Gomez.

The 25-year-old Briton, who agonisingly missed out on a place in the Olympics in Rio last summer, put that disappointment behind him with a superb showing in the 2017 season-opener, finishing just 13 seconds behind veteran Spaniard Gomez.

“I’m absolutely delighted. I’m in a bit of shock to be honest. It’s the best result I’ve had in my life so I’m really, really proud. I can’t quite believe it to be honest,” said Bishop, whose previous best WTS result was fifth place in Edmonton in September.

Bishop was up among an initial breakaway group of 19 riders after the opening 1,500km swim at Yas Marina on Saturday. He was pushing the pace throughout the second leg, the 40km cycle in and around Abu Dhabi’s iconic Formula One track.

Then, as most of the field waned on the final 10km run, the youngster found the energy to keep pace with the veteran.

At one point he even attempted to attack the Spaniard, a silver medallist at London 2012, before Gomez used as his experience to claim victory.

Bishop admitted he knew he had to go for it once he realised he was one of the race leaders.

“I worked as hard as I could and saved as much energy on the bike as I could,” he said.

“I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to be the first race of the season. I thought it might well come together but when I found myself with the front group I found a gap and thought ‘go as hard as I could’. I did what I could to keep the group going into the run.

“My back was pretty sore and I tried to warm my way into it and I had Gomez to pace me through and he’s kind of a good guy to get behind. That dragged me into second.”

Gomez was full of praise for his young opponent.

“I was surprised (by Tom),” he said. “He’s strong on the bike, he always is, but he ran very well and I have to congratulate him because he did amazingly well. Maybe I was a bit surprised by how strong he was so I saved a little bit for the last lap and luckily I got a little lead.”

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