Triathlon: Mola takes the title, Brownlees steal the show

Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:32am EDT
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(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 third.

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.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Triathlon - Final - Men's Final - Fort Copacabana - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 18/08/2016. Mario Mola (ESP) of Spain and Leonardo Chacon (CRC) of Costa Rica compete. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.