Video: Spanish Triathlete Praised For Allowing His Rival to Win

Published September 21st, 2020 - 10:08 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
James Teagle was on track to place third but ran off course metres from the end.

A Spanish triathlete who stopped at the finish line to let his competitor take the bronze has been praised for his sportsmanship.

Diego Méntrida was trailing British athlete James Teagle at the final stretch of the 2020 Santander Triathlon in Barcelona, Spain.

But Teagle mistook the direction of the course, allowing Méntrida to overtake him just metres from the finish line.

Video shows Teagle failing to turn a corner and running into a fence outlining the spectators' area less than 100 metres from the end of the race.

He threw his hands out in exasperation as Méntrida overtook him.

But Méntrida looked back as he was running and noticed Teagle's mistake.

He stopped just before the finish line and the two men shook hands as he let Teagle pass him.

'He deserved it,' Méntrida later said. 

He wrote on Instagram: 'This is something my parents and my club taught me since I was a child. In my view it should be a normal thing to do.'

Teagle shared a picture of the pair shaking hands at the finish line on Sunday, writing on Instagram that he missed the finish chute and accidentally ran an extra 50 metres.

'By that point Diego Méntrida was 50m from the finish chute and we ended up sprinting for the line. I crashed into the barrier and thought it was over.'

He said Méntrida then 'did the unexpected'.

'Having seen what happened he stopped and allowed me to pass showing incredible sportsmanship and integrity!

'Moral of the story is that sportsmanship is a highly regarded trait.' 

Méntrida said he was 'proud' to receive so much praise for his actions. 

Footballer Adrián San Miguel said on Twitter that Méntrida's gesture exemplified 'the real values of sport'.

Other sports fans on Twitter described the moment as 'Webster's Dictionary definition of sportsmanship' and an act of 'true class'.

They applauded Méntrida as doing 'the right thing' and an 'honourable man' who restored their faith in humanity.

Former Davis Cup Tennis Player Nitin Kirtane tweeted that it was 'an amazing gesture'.

'He is a true champion, this is sportsmanship ... Salute to Diego he deserves all credit.

'For me he is the Gold Medallist!'

Méntrida was awarded honorary third place by the triathlon organisers and the same €300 (£274) prize money as Teagle, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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