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Triathlete gives up chance of winning medal after noticing rival go wrong way
A Spanish triathlete has drawn praise from around the world for letting his opponent win the race after he made a wrong turn.
Diego Mentriga allowed Britain’s James Teagle to finish ahead of him in the Santander Triathlon after he made the wrong turn towards spectators less than 100 metres from the finish line.
Teagle threw his hands in the air in agony as Mentriga overtook him.
Realising his opponent’s fatal error, the 21-year-old Spaniard slowed down and stopped short of the finish line.
Teagle finished third by a fraction of a second and immediately moved to shake his opponent’s hand.
Speaking after the race, Mentriga said his rival ‘deserved’ a place on the podium as he was ahead for most of the way.
He told Eurosport: ‘Seeing how he was wrong, unconsciously I stopped. He deserved it.
‘When I saw that he had missed the route, I just stopped. James deserved this medal. He didnt notice the signs or they were misaligned. I dont know, but the second time I would have acted the same.’
Teagle said he missed the finish chute and sprinted back after realising after about 50 metres.
The athlete said he and Mentriga were in a race for the finish line when he crashed into the barrier.
He wrote on Instagram: ‘I crashed into the barrier and thought it was over.@diegomentrida then did the unexpected… Having seen what happened he stopped and allowed me to pass showing incredible sportsmanship and integrity!
He added: ‘Moral of the story is that sportsmanship is a highly regarded trait.
‘And British kids pay attention in language class.. or you may end up looking like a fool worldwide.’
The extraordinary display of sportsmanship drew praise from around the world.
The race winner, Javier Gomez Noya, described the classy act as ‘the best in history’, while Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian said it showed the ‘real value of sport in a single gesture’.
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