Triathlon trio join Brownlee brothers in push for London gold
11:12 GMT, 9 June 2012
Vicky Holland, Lucy Hall and Stuart Hayes will join Alistair Brownlee, Jonny Brownlee and Helen Jenkins in the Great Britain triathlon team at the London Olympics.
The latter trio booked their places last year after superb seasons, with Alistair Brownlee and Jenkins winning their second world titles and Jonny Brownlee establishing himself as world No 2.
Britain have never won an Olympic medal in triathlon but it would be a major surprise were they not to change that statistic this time.
Brothers in arms: Helen Jenkins is flanked by Jonathan and Alastair Browlee
Alistair Brownlee in particular has been utterly dominant over the last three years, winning 11 of the 15 World Triathlon Series races he has competed in, picking up two world titles as well as two European titles.
The 24-year-old was a clear winner over the Olympic course in Hyde Park last year, as was Jenkins, who has been a consistent medal winner and began her 2012 season with second place in Sydney and then a runaway victory in San Diego.
Alistair Brownlee will return to action at the Blenheim Triathlon on Saturday after missing the start of the season with an achilles injury, and in his absence his 22-year-old brother has taken on the mantle.
Jonny Brownlee won in San Diego and then crushed the opposition in Madrid two weeks ago for his first victories over the Olympic distance at elite senior level.
The selection of the rest of the team has been controversial, with British Triathlon making clear their stated intent to win a medal and leaving open the possibility of picking domestiques to help their team-mates rather than the best athletes individually.
The governing body are not saying in what capacity Holland, Hall and Hayes have been selected, but in the case of the latter two especially, it appears they will be there in a supporting role.
Holland has hit form at just the right time with top-seven finishes in San Diego and Madrid and may well race in her own right.
Hall, 20, has never finished higher than 37th in a World Series race over the Olympic distance but she is one of the fastest swimmers in the sport and may well be able to help Jenkins split the pack, giving her a better chance of victory.
Hayes, who will also be making his Olympic debut at the age of 33, won the World Series race in Kitzbuhel in 2010 but has not had any results of note since.
However, he is an experienced and highly respected team member and his prowess in the 40 kilometre bike leg is likely to have swayed the selectors.
If things go to plan, then the Brownlees will not need the extra help but Hayes will also be there should things go wrong, as they did at the European Championships last year when Alistair Brownlee picked up a puncture but still won after his team-mates worked with him to get back to the pack.