Spain's Diego Mentriga brought new meaning to the term “sportsmanship” with an incredible moment at the Santander Triathlon recently.
Mentriga had third spot and a place on the podium in the bag when his rival James Teagle suffered a shocking late mishap.
With just one corner remaining before the finish line, the British runner was caught in an embarrassing mishap as he took a wrong turn.
Teagle had been leading Mentriga throughout the race but seemingly saw his hopes of a third-placed finish dashed when his mishap saw him run into a metal fence.
Mentriga took the correct turn and cantered past the Brit with only metres to go before the finish line.
However, instead of claiming what would have been an easy podium place, the Spaniard stopped centimetres before the finish line and waited for his rival to catch back up.
Teagle looked genuinely confused as he approached Mentriga, before throwing out a gracious hand to congratulate his rival for the moment of class.
Viewers were equally as impressed with the remarkable scenes of sportsmanship on display.
Fantastic sportsmanship, heart warming! @DiegoMentriga - Karma will give you what you are worth!— Oskar Henriksson (@oskahenri) September 20, 2020
That was so natural of a response for him, he should be held up as a hero for all athletes to model. Too much ego in the sports arenas today. Just my opinion.— Daniel Meyer (@DanMeyer33) September 20, 2020
True sportsmanship. His parents should be very proud of their well reared son.— una (@una53997615) September 20, 2020
Mentrida demonstrated the pinnacle of sportsmanship with this gesture to Teagle. He is an example to emulate. (from Canada)— Hugh Vincelette (@barthfv) September 20, 2020
Absolute Gentleman , this type of thing is a rare commodity.— Trevor kelly (@TrevorKelly765) September 18, 2020
What a top chap, such an amazing display of true sportsmanship, well done that man, certainly ranks up there in my top three Spaniards of all time Garbine Muguruza taking the other 2 top places 🖐😷🏊♀️🚴♀️🏃🏻♂️🥉— Will Henry (@willmcrobbie) September 20, 2020
Wonderful to see. If only the same kind of honour and fairness was applied elsewhere.— Elaine Motion 🕷 (@elainemotion97) September 20, 2020
Diego Mentriga explains stunning gesture
Mentriga explained the reasoning behind his extraordinary actions after the race.
“Seeing how he was wrong, unconsciously I stopped. He deserved it,” the 21-year-old Spaniard said.
“When I saw that he had missed the route, I just stopped. James deserved this medal. He didn’t notice the signs or they were misaligned.
"I don’t know, but the second time I would have acted the same.”
Javier Gomez Noya, who won the event, described Mentriga’s actions as “the best in history”.
Teagle also saluted his rival after the triathlon, before offering a hilarious piece of advice.
“I crashed into the barrier and thought it was over. @diegomentrida then did the unexpected… Having seen what happened he stopped and allowed me to pass showing incredible sportsmanship and integrity!” he wrote on Instagram.
“Moral of the story is that sportsmanship is a highly regarded trait.
“And British kids pay attention in language class.. or you may end up looking like a fool worldwide.”