“He deserved it” and “he would do it again,” said Diego Méntrida, who has been highly praised on social media for his gesture of sportsmanship.
The Spanish triathlete Diego Méntrida has stood out for his gesture of sportsmanship by stopping before the finish line to let his rival pass, who had made a mistake shortly before during the Santander Triathlon, held this week in the city of Barcelona .
In the images broadcast on social networks, Diego Méntrida can be seen running behind the British athlete James Teagle in the final stretch of the competition. But Teagle briefly confuses the route and runs into a fence, allowing the Spaniard to pass him a few feet from the finish.
Méntrida noticed Teagle’s mistake and just before the finish line stopped to wait for it, both shook hands and the Briton crossed first to take third place. Teagle was very grateful for that gesture.
✅✅ There are gestures that have great sporting value 👏👏 Diego Méntrida placed 3rd just before the finish line of the Santander Triathlon due to the mistake of his rival. But aware that Teagle had been superior, he let him pass to sign that podium that he had won pic.twitter.com/99xrmunqpC
– BRAND (@marca) September 17, 2020
“Seeing how he was wrong, unconsciously I stopped. He deserved it,” the Spanish triathlete told local media after the race. “I would do it again,” he said.
On his Instagram account, Méntrida thanked the praise he has been receiving for his action, which he considers to be behavior that should be “common” in sport. “This is something my parents and my club have taught me since I was a child,” he recalled.
The video of the performance has gone viral on the Internet, making the young athlete the protagonist of that competition despite not reaching the top three. Anyway, the organizers decided to award him a third honorary place and the same prize as Teagle of 300 euros.