British Triathlon Federation Looking back on an amazing year of triathlon

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Looking back on an amazing year of triathlon

The London 2012 Olympic Games rightly grabbed the headlines during an incredible year of triathlon, but there were plenty more highlights to cheer. As the New Year approaches, we look back at 2012; a year to remember!

Date Published: 27 December 2012



The New Year’s Honours List saw Professor Sarah Springman awarded the CBE for services to triathlon and the end of January signalled six months until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July 2012.

Olympic Performance Manager, Malcolm Brown said he was ‘confident that Britain’s best triathletes still have plenty of time to prepare.’


Alistair Brownlee announced that he had torn his Achillies. He announced: “I’m not accepting any ideas that I will miss London.”


Mark Buckingham and Lucy Gossage won the British Elite Duathlon titles as the elite multisport season got under way at Prestwold Airfield in Loughborough.


Another Olympic milestone, 100 days to go, and Helen Jenkins demonstrated that she was in good form. Jenkins finished second behind Australia’s Erin Densham at the ITU World Triathlon Series opening round Sydney.

Georgia Taylor-Brown won junior gold at the ETU Triathlon European Championships in Eilat, Israel. A further four golds from the GE Great Britain Paratriathlon Team and an Age Group haul of 32 gold 27 silver and 26 bronze medals made it a successful championships.

Lucy Gossage won the ETU Powerman European Long Distance Championships in Horst, Netherlands on her international debut.


With Alistair still injured, Jonathan Brownlee was a double ITU World Triathlon Series winner, emphatically taking the titles in San Diego and then Madrid. He said: “I’ve enjoyed having a bit more pressure, not just thinking that Alistair’s going to win.

“It’s been good to have to take the race to people. Coming first is good because you want to teach yourself to win. It’s a skill.”

Helen Jenkins also recorded a spectacular victory in San Diego.

Lesley Paterson won the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champions at the Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Alabama.

British Triathlon won Sport Governing Body of the Year Award and was delighted with the news that Triathlon Mixed Relay had been added to the programme of events for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.


Having not raced all season due to injury, Alistair Brownlee was back to winning ways at the GE Blenheim Triathlon and then had a dominant come-back performance to convincingly win the ITU World Triathlon Series race in Kitzbühel.

The six triathletes selected to represent Team GB were announced and kitted out ready for the Games.

The GE Canary Wharf Triathlon set London’s East End alight as huge crowds saw Aaron Royle (Aus) and Katie Hewison take the top honours.

As the build up to London 2012 intensified, plenty of triathletes had the opportunity to carry the Olympic torch around the country.


It was a quiet month for the Olympic team with training camps taking place away from the glare of an increasingly excited British press and public. Professor Sarah Springman carried the Olympic torch on the penultimate day of its journey as the Games got under way on 27 July.

Rory Downie from Stirling won gold in the elite U23 race at the ETU Cross Triathlon European Championships and Rachel Joyce won the ETU Long Distance European Championship at Challenge Roth in Germany. Stephen Bayliss won bronze.


The London 2012 Olympic Games triathlon had all the ingredients to make it the best and most memorable triathlon ever. Hundreds of thousands of fans in Hyde Park and around the world anxiously counted down the 15 seconds of Jonathan’s penalty, and willed Alistair to cross the line as they celebrated gold and bronze medal winning performances. There was the sprint finish in the women’s race, and Helen Jenkins’ fifth place; the highest ever by a British woman.

Everything about London 2012 was magical, it couldn’t fail to excite and inspire. The excitement continued later in August with a dramatic win for the GE Great Britain team in the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay world championships. If the mixed relay gets the nod for inclusion in Rio 2016, we could have even more to cheer about in four years time.


The London 2012 Paralympic Games dominated the national news and there was more success for triathletes. Leanda Cave had an emphatic win at the half-distance Ironman70.3 World Championships. There was more long-distance success for Lucy Gossage with silver at the Zofingen ITU Powerman Long Distance Duathlon World Championships in Switzerland.

Richard Horton and Georgia Taylor-Brown won ITU Duathlon World Championship golds in the junior events in Nancy, France. Adam Bowden and Seonaid Thompson were crowned British Triathlon Super Series Champions.


A stunning month of success saw Jonathan Brownlee, Leanda Cave and Lesley Patterson win senior world titles. Non Stanford won the ITU Triathlon U23 World Championships, the GE Great Britain Paratriathlon Team scooped five gold medals and Britain’s Age Group athletes shone in Auckland.

Brownlee kept the ITU world title in the family, succeeding Alistair as the world champion. Cave kept the Ironman world title in Britain, succeeding Chrissie Wellington as the champion and 32 year-old Scot, Lesley Patterson retained the XTERRA World Championship title.


Alistair Brownlee and Helen Jenkins picked up the GE British Triathlon Elite Triathlete of the Year awards at the prestigious British Triathlon Annual Awards at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. 400 people attended the glitzy event, which saw Steve Cram interview our Team GB stars on stage before an evening of dancing.


Chrissie Wellington announced her retirement from triathlon. The four-time Ironman World Champion won an unprecedented thirteen out of thirteen races. She said: “Being a professional ironman athlete has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined.”

British Triathlon President, Dr Sarah Springman CBE added: “It is almost unheard of, in the modern sporting era, that an athlete can remain wholly undefeated around the world at a chosen event and then know when the time is right to retire.”

Ian Howard TD was appointed to succeed Dr Sarah Springman as British Triathlon President.


We hope you achieved your personal triathlon goals during 2012, and look forward to seeing you in a pool, on a bike, running or racing during 2013!

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