Ireland’s number one triathlete Gavin Noble has qualified for the Olympics despite having to retire from today’s World Triathlon Series race in Madrid.

The Spanish event was the final points scoring race before Olympic qualification is officially announced on 31 May.

Noble, who was in 44th place prior to the race, knew his position was relatively secure with the top 55 assured of a place in London.

The 31-year-old completed the swim and bike ride, before withdrawing from the race during the early stages of the run after aggravating a minor injury.

Britain’s Jonny Brownlee delivered a dominant performance to win the event.

Triathlon Ireland’s high performance director Chris Jones explained the decision behind Noble’s withdrawal, saying: “We pulled Gavin out as we knew his Olympic qualification was secure and he’d done a great job of defending his ranking over the past few months.

“He was suffering from a niggle when he started to run so there’s no point in risking anything at this stage.”

Subject to official confirmation, Noble will become the first male triathlete to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games.

He will be joined by world number seven Aileen Morrison, who picked up a stunning silver medal after she set the quickest run split of the day in the women’s race on Saturday afternoon.