Mario Mola has said that he believes Alistair Brownlee impeded him in the swim leg of WTS Cozumel. The story was reported by The Independent in the UK, based on an interview that the new ITU WTS Champion gave on Monday September 19 with Spanish station Radio Cope.
Jonny Brownlee, Alistair’s younger brother, was Mola’s biggest threat for the title, and it was this race that would determine who would be crowned ITU World Champion. If Jonny Brownlee won, and Mola didn’t make the top three, Jonny would be World Champion, otherwise the title would be Mola’s.
WTS final in Cozumel: who will win men’s world title?
“I don’t know who removed my hat and goggles off me in the swimming leg but I’m almost sure it’s the older of the Brownlees,” Mola reportedly told the radio station.
“I’d like to think it wasn’t intentional, but in the case that it was, I think it was totally unnecessary.
“After the finish, Jonny Brownlee gave me his congratulations. With him I’ve always had a good relationship. Alistair, he didn’t give me any.”
Thanks @jonny_brownlee. You had a brilliant year, it’s been a pleasure to share competition with you. See u in 2017! https://t.co/Sh9BPrpFMi
— Mario Mola Díaz (@mariomola) September 20, 2016
The swim at the start was very rough and the men were bunched together for the majority of the 1,500m swim. Alistair exited the swim in second place in a time of 16:52mins, just in front of Jonny, while Mola came out 22 seconds later in a time of 17:14mins.
However Mola has tweeted:
The finish line drama – with Alistair helping Jonny over the finishing line to secure second behind Henri Schoeman after Jonny almost collapsed with heat exhaustion 400m from the finish – has since become worldwide news.