Diego Mentriga has shown class personified as he surrendered his spot on the podium of the Santander Triathlon last week to gift his spot to a rival who took a wrong turn with the finish line in sight.
Incredible footage of Mentriga's sacrifice emerged over the weekend and quickly went viral across the sporting world.
Britain's James Teagle's heart must have flatlined less than 100m from the end of the race as he took a wrong turn towards spectators inside a fenced off area.
However, Mentriga noticed Teagle's fatal mistake as he overtook him on the final run to the line and held himself up just a few metres short of the line to allow Teagle to catch up and cross the line first.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Teagle quickly scurried up behind Mentriga and shook his fellow runner's hand before crossing the line a fraction of a second before Mentriga.
The fraction of a second was the difference between a spot on the podium and missing out all together with Teagle officially handed a third-place finish for the event.
"Seeing how he was wrong, unconsciously I stopped. He deserved it," 21-year-old Spaniard Mentriga said after the race.
He told Eurosport: "When I saw that he had missed the route, I just stopped. James deserved this medal. He didn't notice the signs or they were misaligned. I don't know, but the second time I would have acted the same".
The classy display of sportsmanship has been praised across the sporting world.
The runner who won the Santander Triathlon, Javier Gomez Noya, described Mentriga's sporting display as "the best in history".
Other international sporting names described Mentriga's act as the definition of sportsmanship.