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Jonny Brownlee in box seat for world title after Swedish win
Olympic bronze medallist Jonny Brownlee claimed his third World Triathlon Series win of the season to put himself in pole position to succeed his brother Alistair as world champion.
The title is decided over the series of races, with the Grand Final in Auckland in October, and Brownlee is now on top of the rankings after his victory in Stockholm yesterday.
The race is the only one of the series held over the sprint distance, which is half the distance raced at the Olympics, and the former Bradford Grammar School pupil held off Olympic silver medallist Javier Gomez to triumph, with France’s Vincent Luis in third.
Brownlee, 22, is a two-time world champion over the sprint distance and he went into the run at the head of field after getting into a breakaway on the bike.
Russia’s Alexander Bryukhankov, who led the standings going into the race, stuck with his rival but then made the wrong decision to turn back when there was confusion over the course route.
Brownlee kept going and, although Spaniard Gomez closed in, there was no catching the Bingley Harrier.
He said: “I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after the Olympics. I haven’t done a lot of training but I don’t think many people have. It was a tough race, it was very fast the whole way round.
“It was unusual because Javier’s normally in the front pack and I’m used to being chased by him. I knew with about a kilometre to go that I had it.”
He added of the run confusion: “That happens sometimes in races and you have to keep your calm.”
Olympic gold medallist Alistair Brown-ee chose to skip the race, with an early-season Achilles injury having ended his hopes of defending his world title.
Jonny leads the standings by 600 points from Bryukhankov but is missing the next race in Yokohama so is not guaranteed to start the Grand Final in first.
The younger Brownlee enjoyed more success today as he helped Great Britain defend their mixed relay World Championship title.
The British team, which also featured Will Clarke, Vicky Holland and Non Stanford, beat France and Russia in a wet race in the Swedish capital.
In the mixed relay format, each athlete completes a 300m swim, 6km bike and 2km run before handing on to the next.