The delight was plain to see for Jonathan Brownlee as he stormed to victory at the Triathlon World Series in Stockholm, adding to the silver medal won earlier by teammate Jess Learmonth in the women’s race.
Brownlee, an Olympic silver medallist in Rio a year ago, has struggled with injuries this season, failing to climb the top step of the medal rostrum all year on the series.
But all that changed on Saturday as he put in a dominant performance, from being among the leading pack after the opening swim leg to setting up the win on the bike and then pulling away on the run.
He eventually crossed the line in 1:49.10 after celebrating down the finish line, with silver going to Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt after he outsprinted Pierre Le Corre of France.
Tom Bishop was the next highest Brit in sixth, with Adam Bowden 13th while Marc Austin was lapped.
And Brownlee admitted being able to put in a performance more akin to his usual standards was particularly pleasing.
“I’ve won one now, I was worried about not winning one this year,” he said.
“It’s been a tough few months with my body not really being right. I guess that’s what it feels like to feel normal.
“I was waiting for it to start hurting on the run. The first lap it wasn’t hurting, the second lap, it was still ok. It was only about 2km to go.
“I hate having bad races, I hate feeling rubbish in a race but that out there is how I like racing.
“The swim was tough as it was so choppy, (Richard) Varga really took it out. I knew then that there were going to be some gaps as the people behind him can’t swim that fast.
“On the run I said I would be quite happy at halfway to have 30 seconds so to have 45 seconds I was very, very happy.”
There had been earlier British success for Learmonth after she claimed her first ever Triathlon World Series podium finish by coming home second to Flora Duffy.
The Brit was right in touch with Duffy coming out of the water before recording the same time on the bike as the reigning world champion.
But while Duffy was able to accelerate on the run, Learmonth still kept her composure to hold onto silver ahead of the fast-finishing Ashleigh Gentle.
“It’s amazing. I can’t really believe it to be honest,” said Learmonth, who was followed home by Jodie Stimpson in 13th, Lucy Hall in 17th and India Lee in 19th.
“It was hard work but I’m delighted. It was hard on the bike.
“I was really struggling the first few laps to get used to flying around the corners, there were some scary moments.
“It was a technically hard course but enjoyable at the same time.
“I’m just delighted to get that second place. I never thought I would get on a podium but it’s nice to be among them, hopefully I’ll get a few more now.”