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Alistair Brownlee carries younger brother Jonny to the finish line after collapse

Alastair and Jonny Brownlee.jpg

No, we’re not crying, there’s just something in our eye – the heart-wrenching sting of true sporting heroism.

We’re not the only ones to tear-up after Team GB’s Alistair Brownlee carried his younger brother Jonny to the finish line at the World Triathlon Series final in Mexico.

Olympic champ Alistair was out of contention for the race, having missed events earlier in the season, but his younger brother Jonny had placed second in the standings – and looked all set to win the race until the last kilometre, when a combination of the sweltering Mexico heat and incredible physical excursion in the swimming and bike legs took its toll, causing him to stagger, stumble and eventually stop.

Whereas most of us would have darted past and claimed the glory for ourselves (c’mon, we would) Alistair, who was running in third place, helped his younger brother to the finish line and pushed him across – ensuring Jonny finished in second, after South African Henri Schoeman had taken over to finish first.

Jonny then collapsed – let's face it, he'd earned a lie down – before being taken to hospital. 

Alistair knows the position his brother was in all too well, having suffered a similar meltdown in Hyde Park in 2010.

“It’s an awful position to be in,” he told the BBC. “If he’d conked out before the finish line and there wasn’t medical support it could have been really dangerous. It was a natural human reaction to my brother but for anyone I would have done the same thing. I think it’s as close to death as you can be in sport.”

Like a true big brother, he couldn’t help but get in a cheeky dig.

“I wish the flipping idiot had just paced it right and won the race. He could have jogged the last 2km.”

Ahhh, brotherly love.

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