Jonny Brownlee is aiming for his fourth Olympic triathlon medal in Paris

The 33-year-old North Yorkshire man was expected to end his Olympic career two years ago after Tokyo, when he completed his medal run with gold in the mixed relay after bronze and silver in London and Rio.

But Brownlee, who has yet to qualify, has decided to give another try on the biggest stage of them all and is confident he can compete with the best.

He said: “I thought I would quit the Olympics after Tokyo.

“I didn’t expect to be in this position. I thought I would focus on long-distance but I really think I can be competitive.

“My training has been going well for the past few weeks and I only want to go to Paris if I can really be a medal contender. I don’t want to go to Paris just to get the gear.

“To be back I want to be a real medal contender and the next 12 months will show that, hopefully that will be the case in relay and individual.”

Brownlee has recovered from injury and is fully fit ahead of the start of his season in Sardinia later this week.

A broken elbow was followed by a fractured wrist as a result of a bicycle accident during a World Triathlon Championship Series event in his hometown of Leeds last summer, which saw him ruled out of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“It was a great shame to miss out on the Commonwealths, especially when it was out of my control,” he said.

“The way it happened it was tough because I crashed the bike in Leeds and was told it was just a broken elbow so I would be fine.

“But I’ve struggled painfully in training, indoor cycling and trying to swim.

“I told myself I’d be fine as athletes are experts at lying to themselves and then it wasn’t quite right and a few more tests showed I had broken my scaphoid and it was completely over.

“So that was quite difficult because it was a roller coaster ride with ups and downs.

“If anything, I forgot about the Commonwealths and just moved on and thought, ‘That was a big goal, but now it’s not.'”

“If anything, it showed me that I absolutely love racing and hate standing on the sidelines and watching me.

“My body is fine now. I had a few niggles over the winter but now they’re healed and I’m ready to go.”

The Yorkshire man delivered a speech at the John Charles Center for Sport in Leeds, where the Brownlee Foundation celebrated the 50,000th child to compete in its free mini triathlon events.

Founded nine years ago by Brownlee and his Olympic gold medalist brother Alistair, the foundation inspires children of all backgrounds to enjoy sports and gives them the opportunity to swim, bike and run in world-class facilities.

“We’re incredibly proud,” Brownlee added.

“The first one day event of 2014 was here at John Charles and we had probably over 1,000 children here that day. And to have over 50 of these events now is actually incredible.

“It’s not about finding the next generation of triathletes. If we can do that, that’s great, it’s about getting kids active, enjoying sports and achieving something they didn’t think they could.”

“It’s absolutely amazing. Kids are told they can’t do something, but when they’re told they can, they hope to make it happen in their lives.” Jonny Brownlee is aiming for his fourth Olympic triathlon medal in Paris

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