Friday, 1 July 2011

Dirty Harry?

For those of you that haven't heard, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee finished first and second in the European Triathlon Championships last weekend. This week however their performances were overshadowed by accusations of cheating by Harry Wiltshire, a fellow GB team member, by Javier Gomez and other elite athletes such as Laurent Vidal and Stuart Hayes. This raises a number of questions.
  • Were Harry Wiltshire's tactics 'just part of the sport' or was he breaking the rules?
  • If he was cheating and deliberately trying to slow Javier Gomez down was he acting alone or were these team tactics?
  • If these were team tactics then who gave the instructions to use such methods in a race?
Check out the video here and make up your own mind. Unfortunately there is not a video of the whole swim but just a few edited clips showing a few of the incidents that took place. At 00:12 you will see Javier Gomez enter the frame. Harry Wiltshire comes up beside him at at 00:18 and appears to push him under the water by swimming over the top of him. From 00:23 to 00:44 he appears to force Javier Gomez wide by blocking him from taking a racing line and joining the main pack. At 01:15 he appears to block Javier Gomez as he tries to exit the water. From 01:38 to 02:00 is more video of Harry Wiltshire appearing to block Javier Gomez from earlier in the swim.

From the way I have described the video in the paragragh above you can probably see what I think. Actually, it's as clear as day! I would be interested to hear what you think. I am a Javier Gomez fan. I think he is a great athlete and a great sportsman in terms of his attitude and the way he races. You can read his own account of the race on his blog if you are interested.

So leave some comments and let me know was it cheating, was this team tactics and was it worthy of disqualification?

See you in the weekend. Tim (LFTC Coach)