Double Olympic medallist on hanging gold in triathlon, his upbringing in Lewisham and provoking the following technology
Alex Yee is “only a regular boy from South-East London”. Take it from him, not us. That was what he stated instantly after his Olympic triathlon success in Tokyo, the place he gained a silver medal within the particular person race earlier than hanging gold within the inaugural combined occasion alongside Jess Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jonny Brownlee.
The 23-year-old is now again within the UK and final week popped all the way down to Kent Athletics Membership in Lewisham, the membership with which he spent hour upon hour honing his working craft when he was rising up.
Now that he’s out of the Tokyo bubble and has had time to mirror on his success, Yee can’t fairly imagine his achievements.
“Actually, I wasn’t so centered on consequence,” he says. “This was my first Olympic Video games and I used to be chosen simply three or 4 weeks earlier than we flew out so it was nearly delivering my finest race on the day, going by means of my processes and having fun with it. I used to be by no means going to get that have once more so I simply needed to get pleasure from it and I used to be amazed with the outcomes, that [the medals] are a bonus.”
On his roots in Lewisham, Yee provides: “I used to be born on the hospital simply down the street! It’s fairly cool and that is the monitor the place I began working, which started my journey into athletics and triathlon. I keep in mind working to the monitor from residence and the hustle of it so it’s a bit weird to be again right here after the current success.”
Alex Yee was born two years earlier than triathlon made its debut on the Sydney Olympics.
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) July 26, 2021
Going into Tokyo, Yee was talked about as one of many contenders after successful the World Triathlon Championship Sequence in Leeds in June.
With private bests of 13:29.28 for 5000m and 27:51.94 for 10,000m, added to the truth that Yee represented Nice Britain within the 10,000m on the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, working has at all times been his strongest level within the triathlon.
That got here to the fore throughout the person race when he battled Kristian Blummenfelt for the gold. In sweltering situations, Yee took residence silver after he couldn’t reply to the Norwegian’s kick with roughly two kilometres remaining, admitting he obtained his ways “barely mistaken”.
“It was particular to have these battles,” says Yee, who has additionally run for Britain on the European Cross Nation Championships thrice. “These are the type of moments you always remember in your life. For me, I attempted to speculate plenty of power within the run early on to attempt to skinny out the group and possibly I obtained it barely mistaken.
“Operating got here fairly naturally to me and I’m actually fortunate to have the coaching companions round me who push me and that’s why I’ve obtained the power within the working. That may at all times be my robust level.
“Kristian obtained the higher of me in Tokyo although and, honest play to him, he was wonderful. I keep in mind his gold medal within the press convention afterwards and pondering ‘that’s fairly cool, I would like one among them’.”
“I’ve obtained immense pleasure to be accepted and for individuals from Lewisham to be happy with me from what I’ve achieved.”@Lixsanyee on the response again at residence after successful a gold and a silver medal out in Tokyo. pic.twitter.com/EdLfeSgLA2
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) August 13, 2021
He didn’t have to attend lengthy. With the combined relay making its debut in Tokyo, the format of the race supplied a golden alternative for the British quartet of Yee, Brownlee, Learmonth and Taylor-Brown. The foursome delivered, with Yee anchoring the staff to victory, 14 seconds forward of the USA.
“Once I obtained handed over on that remaining leg within the combined race I used to be actually nervous however in my thoughts it was about doing it for the staff,” he provides. “There was plenty of pleasure in our camp earlier than the race due to how the person had gone so all of us thought there may be a possibility. I suppose everybody was in actually fine condition and we noticed one another in coaching however the principle factor was to have enjoyable and that was the easiest way to remain within the combine.”
“We have been actually happy to come back out on high and it’s actually cool for it to be the inaugural one as nicely and that makes it much more particular. The primary emotion [crossing the line] was just a little little bit of reduction due to how nicely the primary three guys had carried out so I needed to try this justice. They deserved the gold medal and it was a very emotional second once I touched the tape and embraced them.”
In 2012, Yee truly watched the Brownlee brothers compete on the London Olympics and the journey from being within the crowd to successful an Olympic medal alongside Jonny is one thing which he hopes to copy for the following technology of youngsters now.
Alistair and Jonny Brownlee have left an unbelievable legacy behind and made it into a very viable sport, Yee says. “I really feel a product of London 2012 once I watched them and that impressed me to come back to the Olympics and obtain this stuff. Hopefully, I can encourage anyone like they did for me.
“The primary factor for me is how proud I really feel about what I’ve achieved and the people who have invested time in me. I’ve seen individuals on Twitter and Instagram doing issues that they wouldn’t have carried out in the event that they hadn’t have watched the triathlon and that’s particular I can encourage the following technology.”
After his Olympic success, Yee has acquired not simply messages of assist – with Sir Mo Farah amongst these to have been in contact – but in addition variety gestures. One factor to have notably touched him is a mural, designed by road artist Lionel Stanhope, of his gold medal.
“I really feel an immense pleasure to be accepted for individuals of Lewisham to be happy with me and what I’ve achieved. It’s laborious to place into phrases how proud I’m,” Yee provides. “The mural is likely one of the finest issues that’s ever occurred to me. My mother and father and household have been all extremely excited.
“Earlier than Tokyo, they wrote a card for me that stated that ‘when you come first or final, we’ll nonetheless love you’. That actually helped me simply chill out and never let me be defeated earlier than the beginning line.”
Yee’s focus now turns to the ultimate World Triathlon Championship Sequence race in Edmonton, Canada on Saturday, the place he’ll renew his rivalry with Blummenfelt. Will probably be fascinating to see what the following chapter holds.
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