A Harrogate swimming instructor who coached the Brownlee brothers has spoken of her pride in seeing the superstar triathletes win Olympic gold and silver in Rio.
Ashville College swimming coach, Coz Tantrum, helped Alistair and Jonny develop their swimming skills as teenagers starting out on their sporting careers.
Talking about the moment she watched the pair take the top two podium positions, Coz said she could not be more proud of her former protégées.
She said: “For Alistair to retain his gold medal and Jonny to win silver was just fantastic.
“I was glued to the TV and when they crossed the finishing line in first and second, I nearly shouted the house down. And when Alistair grabbed that Yorkshire flag it was simply brilliant!
In 2012, Coz won the Coaching Chain Award at the UK Coaching Awards after being put forward by the brothers.
Reminiscing on her days of coaching the now world-champion triathletes, Coz said she always had faith in the boys’ ability.
She said: “When I first met the brothers they could already swim, and my role was to coach them in improving their techniques, whilst ensuring they did not exhaust themselves.
“Even from my very first session with them I knew they had what it took to reach the very top.
“Their tenacity, willingness to learn and the rolling Yorkshire hills have all helped to shape them as the world’s greatest triathletes.”
Earlier this year, Ashville College held an event to give youngsters interested in a sport, a chance to get a taste for the triathlon.
Coz explained that a growing interest in the varied sport was owed to the brothers, who have dominated global triathlon competitions for several years.
“Thanks to Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the triathlon is becoming an incredibly popular sport.
“Here at Ashville in June we staged the Brownlee Foundation junior triathlon, where more than 1,000 junior school pupils from 30 schools got a flavour of what a triathlon is all about.
“The youngsters swam 30m in the school’s pool, cycled 1km then finished with a 400m run.
“Alistair helped launch the event it and it was a huge success.”