Wouldn’t it be great if sportsmanship wins the day in more sporting events? Let me give you a scenario.
What would you do if you were running a prestigious race and were in fourth place coming to the finish line, but the runner in front of you mistakenly took the wrong direction to the finish line just 100 meters away?
If you sprint ahead, you’ll capture third place and medal. But maybe you think the other runner deserves the medal? Do you go for fame or for doing the right thing?
A Triathlete With A Choice To Make
Well, this is exactly what transpired in a triathlon event. A Spanish triathlete, Diego Méntriga, was faced with this dilemma. James Teagle, a British triathlete, took the wrong turn despite leading Méntriga for most of the race.
Méntriga goes all in on sportsmanship and slows down, eventually stopping so that Teagle can overtake him at the finish line.
“Seeing how he was wrong, unconsciously, I stopped. He deserved it,” said Mentriga, “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.”
Méntriga may have finished in fourth place, but he certainly won many hearts with his classy move. As you can see from the video below, James Teagle was very touched by this gesture of sportsmanship.
Race officials were so impressed with Mentriga’s display of good sportsmanship they also awarded him a 3rd place medal. And, isn’t that a great recognition for him? If we could, we’d give him a gold medal!
Sportsmanship in Running
Check out Meghan Vogel’s sportsmanship back in 2012. Vogel was one of the top seeds in the race. She carried a fallen runner across the finish line. In the process, she finished in last place but showed folks what the spirit of high school sports is all about.
And, in this case, Kayla Samuel ran arm-in-arm with a struggling runner.
Good sportsmanship is contagious. The three examples above are great opportunities for young athletes to learn from.
By Mike O’Halloran
Mike is the founder and editor of Sports Feel Good Stories.
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