(CNN) — Two British triathletes were disqualified by an Olympics qualification race in Tokyo for crossing the end line .
Jess Learmonth along with Georgia Taylor-Brown passed on the line in a photo finish, holding each other’s hands and celebrating as they completed the World Triathlon Olympic Qualification Event from the host town of the next year’s Olympic Games. Learmonth was announced the winner.
But despite being comfortably clear of their closest competitors, the set were disqualified because of their show of solidarity.
The International Triathlon Union’s competition rules say that”athletes that end in a contrived tie situation, in which no attempt to separate their end times has been created will be DSQ (disqualified).”
Learmonth and Taylor-Brown still obtained support from several fellow athletes after the judgment.
“I am really upset for all these champions. A telling off but dq??? Olympic places lives and lost potentially changed?!” British Olympian and Ironman winner Jodie Swallow composed on Twitter.
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who completed after the group, was elevated to the winner’s place, although Italian Alice Betto maintained second location.
For the pair the disqualification did not result in them falling out on places in next year’s Olympics.
The running section of this race was cut in the Olympic distance of 10km to 5km due to poor weather, meaning Britain’s Olympic competitors will be determined later in the calendar year rather than on the outcome of the competition.
Athlete Vicky Holland finished third as a result of the disqualification. She told the British Triathlon regulating body:”It’s wasn’t the set of situation that you need if you win a medal but you must play with what is given to you and I’ve come out with a third place finish.”
“I actually feel like Jess and Georgia since they raced exceptionally well today and I feel as though they totally smashed it and deserved the initial and second finish,” she added.
Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon National Performance Director, added:”It is obviously disappointing to have Jess and Georgia disqualified but it is a testament to the depth of our female squad which we still have the other athlete on the podium.”

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