Monday 26 September 2016

WATCH - 'It's as close to death as you can be in sport' - Stricken triathlete Jonny Brownlee helped over the line by brother Alistair

Published 19/09/2016 | 08:17

British athlete Alistair Brownlee (L) helps his brother Jonathan Brownlee (R) before crossing the line in second and third place during the ITU World Triathlon Championships 2016 in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico
British athlete Alistair Brownlee (L) helps his brother Jonathan Brownlee (R) before crossing the line in second and third place during the ITU World Triathlon Championships 2016 in Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico

A dazed Jonny Brownlee was denied a second world title despite being helped over the line by his brother Alistair in a dramatic end to the World Triathlon Series.

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Jonny went into the final race of the season in Cozumel, Mexico in second place in the standings behind Spaniard Mario Mola, with Olympic champion Alistair out of contention having missed earlier races.

Jonny needed to win the race and Mola finish no higher than fourth, and that was exactly what looked set to happen after the brothers had again pushed the pace hard on the swim and bike legs.

Jonny was leading comfortably heading into the final kilometre of the 10km run but then the heat began to take its toll and he started to weave across the course.

South African Henri Schoeman, who won bronze behind the Brownlees in Rio, overtook Jonny to win the race.

Jonny stopped at the side of the road but Alistair, who had been running comfortably in third, put his arm around his brother and all but carried him along the final few hundred metres and then pushed him across the line.

By finishing second with Mola in fifth, it was the Spaniard who took the title by just four points.

Alistair suffered similar drama in Hyde Park in 2010, and he told the BBC: "It's an awful position to be in.

Watch the drama below:

"If he'd conked out before the finish line and there wasn't medical support it could have been really dangerous.

"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."

Not that Alistair was all sympathy, with the two-time Olympic champion adding: "I wish the flipping idiot had just paced it right and won the race. He could have jogged the last 2km."

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