Athlete slows down so competitor can win. Reason behind gesture is winning praise

An athlete’s display of sportsmanship has gone viral all over the Internet. A video shows him slowing down just before the finish line so his competitor could win the race. His reason for doing this has struck a chord with thousands winning him tremendous praise.

The incident took place during the Santander Triathlon in Spain when Spanish triathlete Diego Mentrida surrendered the third place spot so British athlete James Teagle could overtake him. Mentrida was behind Teagle when the latter took a wrong turn close to the finish line, allowing Mentrida to take the lead.

Mentrida was inches from the finish line when he realised what had happened and slowed down so Teagle could win instead. The two were even seen shaking hands.

A video of the moment has since gone all kinds of viral.

Teagle also praised Mentrida in a post he shared on Instagram. After detailing what had transpired before the finish line, he appreciated Mentrida for “showing incredible sportsmanship and integrity!”

“Moral of the story is that sportsmanship is a highly regarded trait,” he added.

Mentrida also shared a post in which he wrote that this is something that he had learnt since he was a child. “In my opinion it should be considered as a normal situation,” he wrote in his post. “I never thought something like this would go so far and be echoed in so many media. But it is a pride to receive so much affection,” he added.

The organisers of the event eventually decided to give Mentrida an honorary third place, reports Reuters. He was also awarded 300 euros in prize money, the same amount won by Teagle for coming third.

“Wow what a gesture! He is a true winner in life,” shared a Twitter user. “It’s not win or lose, it’s how you play the game. RESPECT!” added another.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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