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Triathlete Kristian Blummenfelt needed a wheelchair after vomiting from the exhaustion of winning Olympic gold on Monday.
The 27-year-old Norwegian vomited after he won the men’s triathlon with a time of 1:45:04 — beating out Team GB athlete Alex Yee by 11 seconds.
Blummenfelt passed the finish line, grabbed the Olympic tape and dropped to his hands and knees. He appeared to be in pain as a result of the sweltering heat and vomited before a medical staffer helped bring him to his feet.
The three-pronged event includes a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 40-kilometer cycle, and a 10-kilometer run — and had to be moved up over concerns of heat exhaustion.
Blummenfelt won the competition at the very end when he kicked things up a notch in the final seconds of the 10km run — passing the 23-year-old Yee, who led for most of the triathlon.
Yee, in his Olympic debut, fell to second and took home silver for Great Britain. New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde came in third to win bronze.
After winning Norway’s first gold medal in this particular sport, Blummenfelt explained he knew he’d be able to steal first place.
He said while he “couldn’t out kick them on the carpet,” he knew he “could use my engine and really bring it home.”
The Norwegian triathlete added that he’s had his sights set on winning Olympic gold “for so many years.”
“I was on holiday here many years ago and thought to myself ‘OK, your goal is to win an Olympic gold medal here in 2020,’” he said.
Great Britain’s Matthew Pinsent, who won four Olympic gold medals in rowing during his career, tweeted, “Outstanding gold from Blummenfelt – pushing till you vom is full on.”
The men’s triathlon also experienced an unexpected pause 13 seconds into the race after a boat in the water caused participants to contemplate whether or not the water was safe to enter.
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