Halifax's Benson heads for Rio
Halifax-born Gordon Benson is relishing the opportunity to support the Brownlee brothers in an all-Yorkshire quest for medals at the Rio Olympics.
London 2012 gold medallist Alistair Brownlee will be joined by younger brother Jonny, who took bronze in 2012, and Benson in the three-man men’s team announced by the British Olympic Association today.
The 22-year-old Benson, who grew up and lives in Leeds and trains with the Brownlees at Leeds Triathlon Centre, is no mean runner, swimmer and cyclist, having won gold at the 2015 European Games in Baku.
It was the first medal ever won at the European Games by Great Britain.
However, he sees himself playing more of a support role to the Brownlees in Brazil.
Benson said: “My gold medal is getting Alistair and Jonny to the run as fresh as possible, and in the best position possible.
“It’s no different to any other race, that’s my goal and I’m going there to achieve that. If I can do that then for me, it’s job done.
“I’d get as much satisfaction out of helping them to gold and silver as I would winning a race myself.”
Benson believes the Brownlees helped him prepare well for his success in Baku.
“I’m not convinced I would have won the gold without that support and it was great to be on the end of it,” said Benson.
“Being on the receiving end actually gave me the drive and motivation to support someone who can go and win gold and silver.
“I like to think pressure doesn’t get to me too much. I’m a motivated individual and I’m always going there to do what I can.
“In Leeds there’s seven or eight of us who get on really well together because we’re good mates. If they argue I step out.”
Benson is a professional triathlete and a member of the UK Sport Lottery Funded British Triathlon Podium Potential Squad. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and is currently reading Nutrition at the University of Leeds.
In July 2015, he was part of the British team that took the bronze medal at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg.