There hasn’t been much good news to celebrate in 2020, but Diego Mentrida put on a heartwarming show of sportsmanship in the Santander Triathlon when he allowed James Teagle to finish ahead of him after taking a wrong turn.
When British triathlete Teagle looked to have cost himself third place in the event having gone the wrong way towards spectators just meters before the finish line, the Spaniard stopped short and let him claim his place on the podium.
When Spanish triathlete Diego Méntriga noticed that British triathlete James Teagle went the wrong way before finish line of Santander Triathlon,Mentriga waited for him so he could take what he says is his deserved 3rd place.“He was in front of me the whole time.He deserved it.” pic.twitter.com/5Mo52QZ3rJ
The pair shared a handshake as Teagle passed his competitor on the line.
Mentrida, 21, told Eurosport (via news.com.au translation):
“Seeing how he was wrong, unconsciously I stopped. He deserved it.
“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.”
After footage of the impressive act went viral, fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to Mentrida.
“This is true class,” wrote one fan. “Webster’s Dictionary definition of sportsmanship,” added another.
This is true class
Webster’s Dictionary definition of sportsmanship: 👆👆
So classy and decent. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
Mentrida’s altruism also caught the attention of some notable compatriots, Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas and Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian:
Diego Méntrida 🥇🔝 #buenasnochesmundo
The real values of SPORT in a single gesture:James Teagle 🇬🇧 got confused on the last corner and was passed by Diego Méntrida🇪🇸 who did this… #Respect#FairPlay 🤝 https://t.co/ceGGyBfqA9
Javier Gomez Noya, who claimed first place in the triathlon, hailed Mentrida’s sportsmanship as “the best in history.”