Non Stanford will return from Rio empty-handed after housemate Vicky Holland was forced to suspend their friendship.
Welsh triathlete Stanford finished fourth in the Olympic race on Saturday as her Great Britain teammate Holland claimed bronze behind winner Gwen Jorgensen of the USA.
Holland and Stanford, house-mates and best friends, sprinted at the finish for bronze after having run side-by-side for the whole ten kilometres.
Holland just edged the battle and said: “I just had it at the end and although I’m delighted to have bronze, I’m just a bit gutted for Non.
“We’ve done this whole process together, we train tougher, we live together but it’s not an excuse not to sprint for the bronze medal.”
Stanford was the first to congratulate Holland and said: “I’m delighted that Vik got the medal, we came here as a team to get a medal and we got one.
“Fourth is maybe the worst place to come at the Olympics Games, but it’s still fourth at the Olympic Games.
The pair were racing a duel for third the moment the gold winner Jorgensen and the Swiss Nicola Spirig moved clear in the first kilometre of the run.
It was shaping up as a race every bit as uncomfortable as it was on Thursday for the Brownlee brothers they train with. Once the Britons had seen off the challenge of Emma Moffatt of Australia and Chile’s Barbara Riveros, they were locked in a fight for the final medal.
Stanford added: “I’m absolutely delighted that Team GB have walked away with a medal today and even more so that it was my housemate.
‘But maybe tactically I played it wrong. I wanted to push it on to make sure we got rid of Barbara, but maybe I pushed too hard and sacrificed my own race. When she went past me I couldn’t fight back. I’m delighted Vicky has got a medal but I’m gutted it wasn’t me.’
Wales’ other medal hopeful, Helen Jenkins – like Stanford, a former world champion – was with the leaders out of the swim, but struggled on the bike.
She finished 19th and said: “I just didn’t have any top end power today. I’m so proud of Vicky for getting third, and Non for getting fourth. I gave it everything but it just wasn’t my day today.”
Performance Director, Brendan Purcell was delighted to have secured a third Olympic triathlon medal for Team GB.
He said: “Non and Vicky ran side by side the whole way. To come down to that sprint, they must be elated but gutted at the same time that they both couldn’t get on the podium.”