The Olympic medal-winning Brownlee brothers may be the current heroes of British triathlon, but their younger training mate is hot on their heels. Gordon Benson, 22, is an award-winning junior sportsman from Leeds, Yorkshire, who began swimming, cycling and running in senior events last year. With the ITU World Triathlon coming to London this summer, Benson is sure that learning from the best will help him beat the best.
THE RED BULLETIN: What’s it like training with Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee?
GORDON BENSON: It’s hard work and intense, but when we go out riding, there’s a group of seven or eight of us and we’re all really good mates, which makes the training so much easier. You can’t train 35 hours a week if you don’t enjoy it.
How do they help you?
Alistair and Jonny are always giving me tips about things I can do a little bit better or mistakes they’ve made to try and help me to get where they are. They’re at the top of the sport and that’s where I want to be to be in the future.
You’ve won a number of awards, does that put more pressure on you?
It’s nice to know that people recognise you for what you’re doing. I see it as a motivation rather than pressure. People like Alistair and Jonny, and Commonwealth Games medallist Vicky Holland, have had huge pressure on them and dealt with it just fine. They’ve mentored me.
How are you preparing for the ITU World Triathlon?
If you’re not training you’re trying to recover or fuel for the next session. It’s not just the swimming, cycling and running: there are other things like gym work to prevent injury and yoga to relax. It’s non-stop.
Will we see you at the 2016 Olympics in Rio?
I’ve got a good shot, but it’s likely to be in a supporting role to help the Brownlees. I’m happy to play that card, then come 2020 I’ll go for it.
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