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Page last updated at 08:37 GMT, Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Helen Jenkins inspired by success of Brownlee brothers


2010 archive: Jenkins happy with Hyde Park podium spot

By Ollie Williams

Britain's top female triathlete wants to match the achievements of her illustrious male team-mates in 2011.

Wales' Helen Jenkins won the world title in 2008 but has since been upstaged by Alistair Brownlee, the 2009 world champion, and his brother Jonny.

Jenkins, now fourth in the world, told BBC Sport: "They make us look very average. I get third in a race, then they win theirs the next day.

"And then mine's just third, isn't it? It makes you not want to settle."

The Bridgend 26-year-old won the world title under her maiden name, Tucker, in a one-off event before the World Championship moved to its current seven-event series format.

She battled to a string of third-place finishes over the past two years, finishing in bronze-medal position twice on the World Championship circuit in both 2009 and 2010.

"I was third a lot in 2010 and it would be nice to go up higher than that," she added, before paying tribute to the success of Britain's men.

It'll be good this year to go down the streets we're actually going to cycle on for the Olympics

Helen Jenkins

"In women's triathlon, Australia are probably the best nation in the world, but it has to be Britain in the men's.

"Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee, Stuart Hayes and Tim Don have all made a World Championship Series podium, there are so many British men up there competing.

"The Olympics in London has inspired people to push on, train harder and improve."

Alistair Brownlee could not defend his world title in 2010 because of injury but still won three of the five top-class events he entered last season, while younger brother Jonny became the Under-23 World Champion and finished second at London's Hyde Park, home to the 2012 course.

And the prospect of fighting for an Olympic title in those central London surroundings also motivates Jenkins during the long winter months of endurance training.

"I quite often imagine Hyde Park when I'm running," she said. "It's always in my mind if I'm struggling in a session - 'Come on, think of Hyde Park, get through this.'

"It's a great venue - the crowd makes it great - and it'll be good this year to get out of the park and go down the streets we're actually going to cycle on for the Olympics.


"Everyone talks about 2012 as though we're already going, but I've got to meet the criteria and get selected first, and I've got to beat some other strong girls to do it."

Both Jenkins and Alistair Brownlee begin 2011 shaking off minor injuries, with Brownlee sporting a protective cast over his lower right leg.

However, each expects to be fit for the start of the season, which begins with the opening World Championship Series leg in Sydney in early April.

"It's more a precaution than anything else," explained Brownlee.

"I've had a sore heel and ankle for quite a while so I'm being a bit careful before the results of another scan."

Jenkins, meanwhile, has had a scan on her knee.

"There's still a little bit of pain there and it's about being precautionary, finding out what the issue is and not making anything worse," she said.

"Injury has been a really big thing for me, I had a year and a half out with an Achilles injury in 2006 and 2007.

"You're always pushing to get to the next level and your body does break down sometimes, but what I've got is definitely manageable at the moment.

"My winter training is actually going really well, so myself and the coaches aren't too worried about anything - it's about getting rid of this and moving on to the season."


Alistair Brownlee wears protective cast for snowball antics in Leeds

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see also
Brownlee to focus on Olympic bid
16 Nov 10 |  Triathlon
GB women content with series finish
12 Sep 10 |  Triathlon
Jenkins fails in world podium bid
12 Sep 10 |  Triathlon
Shock Austrian win for Brit Hayes
14 Aug 10 |  Triathlon
Jenkins third in Hyde Park event
24 Jul 10 |  Triathlon
Jenkins secures third in Madrid
05 Jun 10 |  Triathlon
GB star Brownlee wins world title
12 Sep 09 |  Triathlon
The triathlon uncovered
15 Mar 06 |  Triathlon
Get involved in triathlon
14 Oct 05 |  Triathlon

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