Did USA triathlete Katie Zaferes get an illegal tow behind lapped compatriot Kirsten Kasper at WTS Auckland last weekend? 220 readers have been asking this question after watching the live coverage and seeing Israel’s Amitai Yonah being disqualified for doing the same thing in the men’s race a few hours later.
As one 220 reader pointed out, this could potentially mean that third-placed Andrea Hewitt deserved silver instead – despite serving a 15sec penalty for littering on the bike with an energy gel wrapper.
Zaferes crossed the line behind winner Gwen Jorgensen in 2:10:41, with Hewitt taking bronze just 16secs later. Kasper finished last (38th) in 2:20:32.
We asked the ITU for their views on the issue, and were told by a spokesperson: “There was one moto [official] on the course and he simply didn’t see this. Several National Federations did raise concerns though and they spoke to the US federation after the race.
“Katie understood her mistake and took responsibility for it. However with Andrea’s 15 second penalty they didn’t believe this issue took silver away from her.”
We also asked BBC Sport commentator Steve Trew for his opinion, after he watched Amitai disqualified for slotting in behind winner Jonny Brownlee (GBR) after being lapped. Germany’s Franz Loeschke was also warned by race officials after apparently doing the same thing once Jonny had lapped him.
“Yohan was stopped by a marshall, Loeschke wasn’t,” Trew told us. “Neither were helping Jonny in any way at all; my comment was that it was outside fairplay and morality of the sport. I guess that begs the question, why Yohan and not Loeshke?
“Perhaps because Yohan was seen to do it in and through the end of lap where he would have been seen by a lot of spectators, while Loeshke was hanging on during rather than at the end of a lap.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!