ALISTAIR and Jonny Brownlee's first words to each other at the moment their family dream was achieved were simple – "we've done it".

The Bingley Harriers lay exhausted on the Copacabana beach front, clasping hands after dominating the Olympic triathlon to win gold and silver.

Alistair became the first triathlete ever to retain an Olympic title but more important was their status as the first British brothers to finish one and two in an individual event.

They were the first from any country at a summer Games since Piero and Raimondo D'Inzeo of Italy in equestrian in 1960 and only the sixth ever.

Alistair, at 28 the older by two years, made sure he took in the moment, grabbing a Union Flag and a Yorkshire flag as he sauntered down the finishing straight.

At one stage he stopped and turned to the crowd, holding his arms aloft, before crossing the line a few seconds ahead of Jonny.

"You train so hard and you race so hard and you don't give yourself a chance to think about crossing the line while you're racing," said Alistair.

"I got onto the blue carpet, I knew I was going to win it. In London I didn't have that luxury of really being able to enjoy it so I thought this time, it's probably never going to happen again, so I'm going to enjoy it.

"When we crossed the line, I can't remember which one of us said it first, but it was very much, 'we've done it'. It was fantastic."

Four years ago they also shared the podium, with Jonny taking bronze behind Spain's Javier Gomez.

But the five-time world champion missed out on Rio after fracturing his elbow in a training fall and, from the moment the Brownlees set off on the bike, gold and silver looked inevitable.

Fourth and sixth out of the 1.5 kilometre swim in the waters off Copacabana, the brothers, who grew up in Horsforth and live in Bramhope, immediately pushed hard on the tough, hilly course and only eight other athletes could keep up.

Spanish duo Mario Mola and Fernando Alarza and South Africa's Richard Murray, who were fancied to challenge the Brownlees, were not among them.

Soon the gap grew to more than a minute and never came down.

Only France's Vincent Luis attempted to keep up with the former Bradford Grammar School pupils at the start of the 10km run but he paid for his efforts and it was Henri Schoeman of South Africa who came through to take bronze.

From the moment Alistair made his break on the third lap of the run it was clear that once again it was going to be his day.

Those days have not come as often over the years since London, with injuries an all-too-frequent occurrence.

Last August he made the decision to have ankle surgery and it has been a long road back.

Alistair said: "I had that ankle surgery not even 12 months ago. Still through November I wasn't really running and probably didn't really run pain free until the new year.

"I'm not really one to question whether you can do it but I was questioning whether I could do it. I put on quite a lot of weight.

"But once you start training, training at the end of the day is what I love and the only thing that holds me back is not being able to do what I love.

"There's been a lot of sessions which have been harder than races, just absolutely killing myself. Going to bed and not being able to sleep because my legs hurt so much, getting up in the morning and not being able to walk.

"I love finishing a session and thinking, 'I've killed myself here'. That's actually the easy part of it."

For Jonny, seemingly destined always to be the bridesmaid, the feelings were bittersweet, especially because he thought this time he might get the better of his older brother.

He said: "In training I've probably been a little bit better than Alistair but maybe the short stuff suits me a bit more. When it got to the run, Alistair was a bit stronger than me.

"A bit of me thought, 'here we go again', but you have to be positive. I was pretty confident I was going to hold onto second and I thought maybe Alistair would tire but he got his gap pretty quickly and it just stayed at that."

As Alistair soaked up his moment on the finishing straight, Jonny admitted he thought his brother might wait for him before watching him turn and hold up the finishing tape.

But overall the emotions were positive, and there were plenty of them.

The 26-year-old said: "I'm not a very emotional racer normally but maybe because last year was so tough or because we've gone through a lot more together this year, that was a lot more emotional than I've ever been before.

"In London there was a lot of pressure going into the race, we were there to do a job if you like because of that whereas here we'd been written off more, people might not have expected that but we achieved the aim.

"Gold and bronze was incredible but it wasn't gold and silver. You could do no better."

Britain's third entrant, Gordon Benson, who has trained with East Bradford Cycling Club, was picked to help the Brownlees but missed the lead group on the bike and then crashed out.