British athletes disqualified from Olympic triathlon qualification event for finishing race 'holding hands'

Two British triathletes were disqualified from an Olympic qualification event after finishing the race holding hands.

Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown, who crossed the line in first and second position respectively, were deemed to have broken rules which prohibit a “contrived tie situation, where no effort to separate their finish times has been made."

While Learmonth was handed the photo-finish victory originally, the pair were struck from the results - with a subsequent appeal rejected.

The running portion of the event was also reduced from 10km to 5km due to the intense heat, leading Games spokesman Masa Takaya to tell Reuters that a ‘comprehensive review is necessary.’

Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jessica Learmonth were disqualified from the Tokyo event. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Flora Duffy, of Bermuda, and Alice Betto, of Italy, subsequently finished first and second respectively, while Britain’s Vicky Holland was upgraded to third.

Holland, 33, said: "I really feel for Jess and Georgia because they raced exceptionally well today and I feel like they absolutely smashed it and deserved the first and second finish.

"I don't know how British Triathlon will choose things now. I wouldn't want to be a selector."

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