(CNN) — Two British triathletes were disqualified by an Olympics eligibility race Tokyo for crossing the end line hand-in-hand.
Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown passed on the line in a photo finish, holding each other’s hands and celebrating as they completed the World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event in the host city of following year’s Olympic Games. Learmonth was announced the winner.
However, despite being clear of their closest competitors, the set have been disqualified for their show of solidarity.
The International Triathlon Union’s competition rules say that”athletes that end in a contrived tie situation, where no attempt to divide their finish times was made will be DSQ (disqualified).”
Learmonth and Taylor-Brown still obtained assistance from several fellow athletes following the ruling.
“I’m genuinely upset for these winners. A telling off, a fine possibly but dq??? Olympic places lives and lost potentially changed?!” Ironman champion Jodie Swallow and former British Olympian composed on Twitter.
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, that completed after the pair, was raised to the winner’s position, although Italian Alice Betto claimed second location.
For the pair the disqualification did not ultimately lead to them falling out on places in next year’s Olympics.
The running section of the race was cut in the Olympic distance of 10km to 5km because of poor weather, meaning Britain’s Olympic competitors will be determined later in the year rather than about the outcome of the contest.
Athlete Vicky Holland finished third as a result of the disqualification. She advised the British Triathlon governing body:”It’s was not the set of circumstances that you need if you win a medal but you must play with what is provided to you and I’ve come out with a third place finish”
“I actually feel like Jess and Georgia because they raced exceptionally well today and I feel as though they totally smashed it and deserved the first and second end,” she added.
Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon National Performance Director, added:”It’s always disappointing to have Jess and Georgia disqualified but it is a testament to the thickness of the feminine squad which we still have the other athlete on the podium.”
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