2012 Summer Olympics

Olympic Triathlon Photo Finish: Nicola Spirig's Win Is One of Games' Highlights

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Paula Findlay of Canada competes in the running stage of the Women's Triathlon event at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Hyde Park which was won by Nicola Spirig of Switzerland on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Oli Scarff/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIAugust 5, 2012

The triathlon isn't the most popular of the sports at the Summer Olympics, but it certainly provided one of London's most thrilling moments.

Swiss 30-year-old Nicola Spirig pulled out a closer-than-close victory over Sweden's Lisa Norden to earn the gold medal.

How close was it?

Both women were given the official time of 1:59:48. Per Steven Downes of Reuters, Olympic judges ruled the margin of victory for Spirig was about 15 centimeters.

Competition is rarely any closer than that, especially in this event.

To think such a grueling competition that lasts nearly two hours could come down to a finish like this is amazing. The perseverance and will to win that both of these women showed deserves a medal. But there will be only one gold medal handed out, and it belongs to Spirig.

She has won the European Championships and the World Championships in Madrid, but this was her first Olympic medal after finishing sixth in Beijing in 2008.

From a national standpoint the win was significant because it was the country's first gold medal in London. Tennis star Roger Federer had to settle for the silver, so this win makes Spirig the standout performer from her country.

Even if you're not a fan of the sport, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more exciting finish.

 

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