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Good sport Butterfield gives up third place

Butterfield gave up his third-place finish in Dubai (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Tyler Butterfield demonstrated tremendous sportsmanship by giving up his third-place finish at the Ironman 70.3 Dubai yesterday.

The Bermuda triathlete crossed the line in third but later agreed to swap positions and take fourth instead after Ruedi Wild, of Switzerland, lodged a complaint after taking a wrong turn near the finish after moving into third.

“I’m happy, great swim/bike,” Butterfield said. “Fastest bike but a little disappointed to not run the way I used to years ago and slip back to fourth.

“Second or third would have been nice after leading. But it was always known Javier would catch us on the run.”

The professional athlete completed the event, held in sweltering conditions, in a combined time of 3hr 45min 10sec to get the season off to a solid start despite the mix up which cost him a deserved spot on the podium.

He exited the 1.9-kilometre swim in ninth 24:31 but managed to take the lead after producing the fastest time for the 90km bike of 2:00:14.

However, despite giving it all he had on the 13.1 mile run, Butterfield was unable to hold off Spaniard Javier Gómez, the three-times Triathlon World Series champion and Olympic silver medal-winner, who relied on his renowned speed to take victory in 3:42:21.

Josh Amberger, of Australia, was second in 3:44:38 and Wild third in 3hr 44 mins 59 secs.

Ironman world champion Daniela Ryf, of Switzerland, took women’s honours in 4:01:40 after a blistering bike ride of 2:09:52.

Butterfield was plagued with illness and injury last season. However, he has since recovered from his ordeal with yesterday’s solid showing in Dubai providing a solid foundation for the athlete’s bid to qualify for this year’s Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, where he achieved a personal best fifth place in 2015.