Triathlon: Mola takes the title, Brownlees steal the show
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[September 19, 2016]
(Reuters) - Alistair and Jonny
Brownlee were brothers in arms at a dramatic finale of the World
Triathlon Series as double Olympic champion Alistair hauled an
exhausted Jonny over the line in a desperate bid to help his younger
brother secure the title.
Jonny, silver medalist in Rio, collapsed having finished second but
Spaniard Mario Mola's fifth-placed finish in the final race of the
series in the Cozumel, Mexico was enough for the Spaniard to top the
overall standings and secure his first ITU world championship title,
four points ahead of Briton Jonny. Spain's Fernando Alarza came
But Mola's overall victory played second fiddle to the show put on
by the Brownlee brothers.
Heading into the final race of the season, victory would have handed
Jonny the world title and with just under a kilometer to go of the
run, victory was firmly in his grasp as he led by 50 meters.
But dazed by the heat and reeling from exhaustion, the Rio Olympics
silver medalist began to wander across the road, allowing South
Africa's Henri Shoeman to overtake him in the final stretch of the
10km run to win on the day.
Alistair, who was running in third-place, caught hold of his
disoriented brother, wrapping an arm around his shoulder to take his
weight over the final few meters, before pushing Jonny over the
finish line ahead of himself.
"I wish the flipping idiot had paced it right and crossed the finish
line first," Alistair told reporters after the race as Jonny was
given medical treatment.
"He could have jogged that last two kilometers and won the race. You
have to race the conditions. It was a natural human reaction to my
brother but for anyone I would have done the same thing. I think
it's as close to death as you can be in sport."
Mola said his joy in victory had been tempered by Jonny's struggles
with the conditions.
"First of all this was not how I wanted to win the world
championship," the Spaniard said in a statement.
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Mario Mola (ESP) of
Spain and Leonardo Chacon (CRC) of Costa Rica compete. REUTERS/Damir
"Luckily I was able to be in the top five considering Jonny didn't
win the race. We want everyone to be safe after the finish line,
it's not the way I wanted it, but that's triathlon."
After the 1.5km swim, the Brownlee brothers were in the leading pack
that headed into the second transition one minute 39 seconds ahead.
Jonny, 26, set the pace heading into the final run, but Schoeman
stayed in touch, eventually capitalizing on the Briton's exhaustion
to clinch his first world triathlon series win.
An appeal by the Spanish Triathlon Federation to disqualify Jonny
for accepting assistance from his brother was dismissed by the ITU
Bermuda's Flora Duffy was crowned the women's world triathlon series
champion ahead of American Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen on
Duffy broke away from the pack with a stellar bike ride, and
maintained her momentum in the run to clinch victory.
Japan's Ai Ueda finished third in the overall standings.
(Reporting by Nivedita Shankar in Bengaluru. editing by Mitch
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