Certain Olympic sports always seem destined to end with ridiculously little space between first place and runner-up. We expect the race for gold in the 100-meter sprint and 50-meter freestyle swim to go down to the very last millisecond.
Because those events are over before you can tie one sneaker.
The triathlon is an absolutely grueling undertaking that approaches two hours of non-stop action. After a 1,500-meter swim, a 43-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run, you'd think there would be at least a little separation at the front of the pack.
Not this year.
Instead, Nicola Spirig and Lisa Norden sprinted neck and neck toward the finish line. Sprig, of Switzerland, nipped Norden with a final effective lunge.
"Crossing the finish line, I had a feeling that I had won, but I wasn't sure," Spirig told The Associated Press. "I needed an official to tell me and it took a few minutes."
Technically, both women completed the course with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, 48 seconds. An epic conclusion provided one of the most dramatic moments at these Games and put the spirit of relentless competition on full display.
"We tried to put on a good show for you guys," Norden, a Swede, said after earning silver. "Nicola is an incredible sprinter, I've never been that close to her. I was surprised to find some energy still in my body and I pushed it all the way. I was close, but not quite."