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An elite triathlon race in Mexico ended dramatically Sunday with one brother helping another across the finish line.
At the final race of the World Triathlon Series in Cozumel, Mexico, Jonny Brownlee of Britain was leading with less than half a mile to go when he slowed and staggered over to a water station. His brother, Alistair, in a battle for second with Henri Schoeman of South Africa, veered over, pulled Jonny’s arm over his shoulder and began hauling him along. Meanwhile, Schoeman raced on for the win.
When the Brownlees reached the finish, Alistair pushed Jonny across the line in second. Jonny immediately collapsed. He was admitted to a hospital, suffering from dehydration.
Though a protest was filed, the result stood, perhaps surprisingly.
Although it seemed clear that Jonny would have had difficulty finishing without his brother’s aid, Appendix K, Rule 7 of the official triathlon rules allows athletes to receive assistance from either race officials or other athletes.
“If it had happened to anyone, I would have helped them across the line,” Alistair said. “It’s an awful position to be in. If he conked out before the finish there, and there isn’t medical support, it was a dangerous position to be in.”
The Brownlees have dominated the sport for years. Alistair, 28, is the two-time defending Olympic champion, and Jonny, 26, won the bronze in 2012 and silver in 2016.
Had Jonny hung on to win, he would have clinched the series title. Instead, that title went to Mario Mola of Spain, who was fifth in the race.