Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth, Jonny Brownlee, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee produced a superb performance to win the inaugural Olympic triathlon mixed relay.
It meant a triumphant Games farewell for Brownlee, who secured his first gold in his third Olympics after the 31-year-old announced in June he was “ready for a new challenge”.
Britain’s seventh gold in Tokyo came after Yee pulled clear in the 2km run having been briefly overtaken in the bike stage by France’s Vincent Luis.
Britain finished 14 seconds ahead of the United States while France claimed the bronze medal.
“I was pretty scared taking over because the three before me had done the perfect race,” Yee, silver medallist in the men’s individual race,
The individual events feature a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run, but for the relay each leg is shortened to a 300m swim, 6.8km cycle and 2km run.
After an excellent first leg from Learmonth, Brownlee broke away from the pack and individual women’s silver medallist Taylor-Brown and Yee maintained the advantage to secure Britain’s third triathlon medal of the week.
Having claimed bronze in London nine years ago and silver in Rio behind his brother Alistair, Brownlee finished fifth in the individual race on Monday.
But he played an important role as Britain clinched gold on Saturday.
“The Olympics? I’ve completed it,” said 31-year-old Brownlee.
“It feels absolutely amazing. It’s my third Olympics and I finally walk away with gold.
“We knew coming into this race there was a lot of pressure on us, we all had to race very well and do everything right and that’s what we did.”
Learmonth, the 33-year-old two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist, “I can’t believe it. I was slightly nervous being in a team of Olympic medallists and I’m just so glad we executed a brilliant race.”
Taylor-Brown, 27, established a 23-second lead at one stage during the third leg as she followed Brownlee’s efforts.
“I just tried to not panic. Jonny gave me such a big lead,” she said.
“I just knew I had a bit of time to chill out and not stress too much about it, as that’s when things can go very wrong.
“I knew I had to give everything that last run lap and give as big of a gap as I could for Yee boy!”
Yee, who is making his Games debut, admitted he had to respond after being overtaken by Luis on the bike before pulling away during the run.
“I know my run’s my strength so I just went for it,” he added. “It’s amazing to be here and do it with these great guys.”
Yee, 23, previously represented Great Britain in the 10,000m at the European Championships in 2018 but trained with the Brownlee brothers in Leeds to develop as a triathlete.
However he suffered a serious crash on the bike in his first World Cup event in June 2017, causing a punctured lung and breaking ribs, vertebrae and a shoulder blade.