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‘If not now, when?’

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Alistair Brownlee feels the Olympic Games must be allowed to take place this summer.

Tokyo 2020 was postponed last year on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, but is set to get underway on July 23.

However, doubts were raised on Tuesday due to a worrying rise in coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital.

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The head of the organising committee, Toshiro Muto said that they would not be afraid to cancel should the situation worsen, but Brownlee believes the Games have to go ahead.

“I think they should go ahead,” Brownlee told the Guardian. “I think the timing is going to be difficult but I think it was always going to be difficult. ‘If not now, when?’ is the argument I put forward to that.

It provides a great opportunity to show that these events can get back to some sort of normality.

“It’s obviously a shame that the Olympics is not going ahead as it would normally. It’s missing out so much of what the Olympics is about but I think, given the context we are in, it’s a fantastic triumph that it is happening. I think the Olympics in this form is much better than no Olympic Games for every single athlete.”

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Brownlee is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, but will not be able to defend his triathlon crown after suffering with injuries and not being able to make the qualification mark.

The Brownlee name will be in the hunt for gold, as Alistair’s brother Jonny – a silver medallist in Rio – is among the favourites for triathlon gold.

Alistair feels everything is set for Jonny to put up a big performance in Tokyo.

“Jonny is in great shape,” his elder brother said. “He’s prepared for the conditions, he is fit, healthy and ready to go. To be honest he’s not the favourite, he has been in the last couple of Games but there are no favourites in that race really, it’s wide open. He has a very good chance of a medal; winning is probably relatively unlikely but, that said, it might happen.”

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