• Triathlon

Brownlee lays down marker on return from injury

ESPN staff
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Alistair Brownlee was a comfortable winner on his return from an Achilles injury © Getty Images
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Alistair Brownlee silenced concerns over his fitness as he destroyed his rivals to win the World Series triathlon event in Austria on his return from injury.

Brownlee, who has been sidelined with an Achilles problem since February, recently admitted he feared he would miss London 2012.

But the 24-year-old confirmed his status as red-hot favourite for Olympic gold this summer, winning the World Triathlon Championship event in Kitzbuhel in emphatic fashion, with his brother Jonathan finishing second.

In what is expected to be the brothers' final event before the Olympics, Alistair Brownlee was fifth following the swim, and worked alongside his brother to hit the front of the pack on the bikes. Team-mate Stuart Hayes - selected to the Team GB squad as a domestique - set the pace, and Alistair took the initiative out of the transition, streaking away to cross the line in one hour, 50:13.

With Jonathan and Spaniard Javier Gomez in the medal positions, the Brit pulled away in pursuit of his brother, taking silver in a time of 1:51:02, 16 seconds clear of Gomez.

A delighted Alistair Brownlee told BBC Sport: "This was very important. It couldn't get any better, could it, really? An Achilles tendon tear is a pretty bad injury and the Olympics are in six weeks, so it couldn't get more important. I knew I'd done a lot of training, this was more to go through the motions and I felt alright, really."

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