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There's a certain feeling that anyone who has ever pushed themself to the limit in training knows. "Am I going to puke? No, I'm fine. Wait... am I fine?" It's pretty much universal across sports and fitness, from marathons to CrossFit workouts to leg day with Kris Gethin. It's just rare for it to happen in the midst of your greatest triumph on the world stage.
Fortunately for Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt, his spectacular post-race digestive pyrotechnics were simply the result of a last-minute surge that propelled him past Great Britain's Alex Yee to win the race—and the gold—by an astounding 11-second lead. That, and brutally hot and humid race conditions that led the race to be moved two days earlier than scheduled.
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Drenched with sweat, the victorious Blummenfelt immediately doubled over, vomited, and had to be taken away in a wheelchair after being helped off the finish line by Yee. Fellow Olympian and four-time gold medalist Matthew Pinsent summed it up best with a shout-out on Twitter: "Outstanding gold from Blummenfelt - pushing till you vom is full on."
Yee took silver, and Hayden Wilde of New Zealand finished third for the bronze. It was a spectacular finish for a race that had been moved up at the last minute in an attempt to avoid Monday's unbearable heat and humidity. The medalists made a remarkable comeback considering many of the top competitors had to climb back out of the water after a false start at the swimming portion that begins every triathlon race.
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The next day wasn't much kinder to the ladies. Torrential downpours replaced the oppressive heat, causing a 15-minute delay at the start of the race and leading to treacherous conditions in both the swim and the bike.
Flora Duffy brought home Bermuda's first-ever gold medal, delivering the same feeling of nationwide triumph that weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz provided to the Philippines a day earlier. Duffy cruised through all three events, but took a decisive lead in the final run. Great Britain's Georgia Taylor-Brown fought back from a flat tire on the bike leg to clinch the silver medal just ahead of the USA's Katie Zaferes, who finished third for the bronze.