SPORTS

CAS to judge photo-finish in Olympic women's triathlon as Sweden appeals for joint gold medal

08/10/2012 09:29 EDT | Updated 10/10/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - The Swedish Olympic team is still hoping for a second gold medal to be awarded in the women's triathlon race, which ended in a photo-finish at the London Olympics.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Friday that Sweden's team has asked for runner-up Lisa Norden to also get a gold medal as a joint champion with the declared winner, Nicola Spirig of Switzerland.

A CAS panel will sit later Friday to hear the Swedish case challenging how the International Triathlon Union judged the photo finish between the two.

Norden and Spirig finished side by side and were given the same time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, 48 seconds at the end of a 1,500-meter swim, a 43-kilometre bike ride and a 10-kilometre run in Hyde Park last Saturday. Officials ruled that Spirig broke the tape moments before Norden after studying video replays of the finish.

An initial Swedish appeal to triathlon's governing body was rejected Wednesday.

CAS said the latest Swedish case argues that the "ITU did not comply with its own rules."

The Swedish team thinks the governing body "may not have taken into account the position of the athletes' torsos when establishing the medal positions," acccording to the court's statement.

Sweden claims that "it is not possible to distinguish precisely on the photo-finish the position of Spirig's torso, which is slightly back from her belly and which is hidden by the torso of the Swedish athlete."

Both athletes, their team leaders, and representatives of the ITU, International Olympic Committee and London Games organizing committee have been invited to attend the court session.

CAS said it aims to give a verdict by midday (1100 GMT) on Saturday.

Sport's highest court of appeal can alter results if the legal process has not been followed, but cannot interfere in "field of play" decisions made by race or match officials.

Norden was awarded a silver medal after making a late sprint to the line as Spirig hung on to a fast-diminishing lead.

"At least I can say I pushed it all the way to the finish line and I'm pretty happy with that," the Swedish athlete said after the race.

Sweden has won a single gold medal at the London Olympics, in sailing. Frederik Loof and Max Salminen won the men's star class last Sunday.

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