Elite triathlete drags brother over the line in touching display of sportsmanship

British athletes Alistair Brownlee (left) and Jonny Brownlee placed third and second, respectively, at the ITU World Triathlon Championships.
British athletes Alistair Brownlee (left) and Jonny Brownlee placed third and second, respectively, at the ITU World Triathlon Championships.

Image: Getty Images / ELIZABETH RUIZ

LONDON — A triathlon championship ended in a dramatic display of brotherly love on Sunday when British athlete Alistair Brownlee came to the aid of younger brother Jonny Brownlee, just moments away from the race’s end. 

Twenty-six-year-old Jonny began to flounder in the sultry conditions in Cozumel, Mexico, stumbling and lurching just 700m away from the finish line in the ITU World Triathlon Championships event.

Alistair, 28, rounded the corner and, without missing a beat, swiftly slipped a supporting arm around his brother, half-carrying his unsteady figure for several hundred metres before pushing Brownlee-the-younger across the finish line for a second-place finish. 

The pair were overtaken by South African Henri Schoeman and a second-place finish cost Jonny the world title, leaving him four points behind Spaniard Mario Mola. 

In the video clip, Jonny can be seen collapsing over the finish line and being quicky spirited away on a stretcher. A recent update via Twitter shows that he is now safely recovering in hospital.

Big brother Alistair is quoted in a BBC article as saying: “I wish the flippin’ idiot had paced it right and crossed the finish line first.

“He could have jogged that last two kilometres and won the race. You have to race the conditions. I was comfortable in third. I raced the conditions, I took the water on, made myself cool and I was all right.”

Sounds like this one will induce some good ‘ol fashioned brotherly banter for years to come at the Brownlee home. 


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