Swedes take triathlon ruling to court
(CNN) — It was a “million in one chance” that the Olympic women’s triathlon race would end in a photo finish, but the outcome is again in doubt following Sweden’s decision to appeal the result in sport’s last-resort court.
The Swedish Olympic Committee (NOC) has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport following its failure to have Lisa Norden awarded the gold medal following last Saturday’s event.
Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig was adjudged to have crossed the line first after both women finished in one minute 59.43 seconds and was awarded victory despite protests from the Swedes.
Both the NOC and the Swedish Triathlon Federation failed to have the decision overturned after filing an official complaint to the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
Norden’s fate now rests in the hands of the CAS, which will make a decision on Saturday in London. The ITU told CNN it could not comment on the case until after the verdict.
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Russian gymnast Daria Dmitrieva performs in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition.
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Britain’s Laura Unsworth controls the ball during the women’s field hockey bronze medal match against New Zealand.
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Spain’s rhythmic gymnastics team performs in the group all-around qualifications.
Canada’s Karine Sergerie spars with Slovenia’s Franka Anic during the women’s under 67-kilogram taekwondo quarterfinal.
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Chinese gymnast Senyue Deng performs during the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around competition.
Spain competes in the women’s team synchronized swimming free routine final.
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Australia’s Malcolm Page leaps off the boat as teammate Mathew Belcher sails on after winning the gold in the men’s 470 sailing class.
Jo Aleh, left, in the black cap, and Olivia Powrie, in the white cap, of New Zealand celebrate winning the gold medal in the women’s 470 sailing class.
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Australia competes in the women’s team synchronized swimming free routine final.
China’s Qingling Song, left, celebrates a disallowed goal in the women’s field hockey classification match against Australia.
Bulgaria’s Silviya Miteva performs her ribbon program during the individual all-around qualifications of the rhythmic gymnastics event.
A view of the wrestling events at ExCeL in London.
Great Britain’s Luke Campbell, left, defends against Satoshi Shimizu of Japan during the men’s bantamweight (56-kilogram) boxing semifinals.
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Germany’s Jana Berezko-Marggrander performs her ribbon program during the individual all-around qualifications of the rhythmic gymnastics event.
Italy’s Vincenzo Mangiacapre leaves the ring after his loss to Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo in the men’s light welterweight (64-kilogram) boxing semifinals.
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Spain’s Francisco Hervas Jodar competes during the men’s marathon 10-kilometer swim.
South Korea’s Jincheol Kim, right, and Kenichi Yumoto of Japan compete in the men’s freestyle 55-kilogram wrestling.
Swimmers compete in the men’s marathon 10-kilometer swim at Hyde Park in London.
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Japan’s Yasunari Hirai warms up before starting the men’s marathon 10-kilometer swim.
Argentina’s Miguel Antonio Correa reacts during the men’s kayak double 200-meter canoe sprint semifinals.
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Australia’s Janine Murray performs her ribbon program during the individual all-around qualifications of the rhythmic gymnastics event.
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Britain’s Francesca Jones performs her ribbon program during the individual all-around qualifications of the rhythmic gymnastics event.
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Australian women’s field hockey players pose for fans after their 2-0 win over China.
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Iran’s Sousan Hajipourgoli, left, battles Australia’s Carmen Marton in women’s taekwondo in the under 67-kilogram division.
Competitors race in the women’s kayak single 200-meter sprint heats at Eton Dorney in Windsor, England.
Great Britain’s Lutalo Muhammad prepares to compete in the men’s under 80-kilogram taekwondo preliminary round.
Germany’s Sebastian Brendel, right, and Qiang Li of China compete in the men’s canoe single 200-meter sprint semifinals.
Belgium’s Gaelle Valcke celebrates after scoring the match-winning goal against the United States during the women’s field hockey classification match. Belgium won 2-1.
American Steven Lopez, left, competes against Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan during the men’s under 80-kilogram taekwondo preliminary round.
American Steven Lopez walks off after losing to Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan in the taekwondo bout.
China’s Zhang Yimeng, center, saves a shot from Australian Teneal Attard, left, as Attard’s teammate Jayde Taylor stands by during the women’s field hockey classification match.
Germany’s Ronald Rauhe competes in the kayak single 200-meter men’s heats.
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South Korea’s Shin A-Lam gets emotional while awaiting the outcome of an appeal over a technical fault during her Women’s Epee semifinal bout against Germany’s Britta Heidemann.
Gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy of Great Britain, right, tears up alongside silver medalist Maximilian Levy during the medal ceremony for the men’s keirin track cycling final.
It’s unclear whether Russia’s Evgeniia Kolodko sheds tears of joy or sorrow after winning bronze in the women’s shot put final.
Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster-Hylton cries after sustaining an injury running the women’s 100-meter hurdles.
Japanese table tennis players Kasumi Ishikawa, left, and Sayaka Hirano weep after beating Singapore in the women’s team semifinal match.
Annemiek de Haan of the Netherlands cries after her crew finished third in the women’s eight rowing competition.
Brazil’s bronze medalist Felipe Kitadai cries on the podium after the men’s lightweight judo match.
China’s Sun Yang couldn’t wait to get out of the pool to celebrate his gold medal win in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle.
American gymnast Gabby Douglas, left, comforts Russia’s Victoria Komova during the women’s individual all-around competition. Douglas won the gold while Komova took silver.
Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking of Great Britain cry before receiving their gold medals for the lightweight women’s double sculls.
Tears of the Olympians
Brownlee brothers take triathlon by storm
It was time an Olympic triathlon has been settled in such a manner, and Bridie McDonnell — a former triathlete and reserve member of the Australian 2004 Olympic squad — was astonished by the close finish.
“It was a million to one chance,” she told CNN.
“Perhaps it’s a bit remiss of coaches not to work on the finishing styles of their athletes as one of the girls dipped her head and the other went with her chest.
“I just think that nobody ever expected such a close finish because you would expect after two hours of competition that there would be a bigger gap. I’ve never seen anything like it in all my time of watching triathlon.”
McDonnell said that Saturday’s decision will have a huge impact on the winner.
“It’s a shame that it has gone to CAS because the race has gone and the medal ceremony cannot be brought back, but you cannot underestimate how much that gold medal means because it can change somebody’s life,” she said.
“To normal people watching they just think about the race and some people will say that they should get on with it.
“But that gold could mean €100,000 ($123,000) to somebody and that’s why the Swedish team are possibly appealing. I’m sure the Swiss would have done the same if it had been the other way around.”
Now based in Los Angeles, McDonnell has taken time out of her medical career to compete on the Pro-cycling circuit.
A qualified doctor and a seven-time national rowing champion, she has competed in several triathlons and Ironman competitions.
“I love triathlon and I thought that the Olympic race was gripping,” McDonnell said.
“I was watching it with a lot of people who weren’t fans of triathlon and now they absolutely love it.
“I hope that the attention the sport is receiving will now help get people into it because it was really a wonderful spectacle.”