Mark Allen ‘baffled’ by controversial triathlon rule as he weighs in on ‘Zippergate’

The GOAT was unimpressed by Sunday's events in Maine

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Mark Allen says he is ‘baffled’ by the controversial triathlon rule which saw Matt Sharpe disqualified from his podium spot following that ‘zippergate’ furore at IRONMAN 70.3 Maine on Sunday.

The Canadian was ‘heartbroken’ to lose his third-place finish, and the prize money which came with it, after being removed from the results for what IRONMAN termed a “rule infringement”.

It emerged that because the zip on his race suit was fully undone – and disconnected – he’d fallen foul of competition rule 5 (i) – but many on social media felt it was a harsh decision.

Sharpe himself said: “It’s a tough situation because on the one hand there is a rule and I’m supposed to know it.

“On the other hand there is a ton of uncertainty around the rule that makes it a bit of a grey area. Like the official could have told me to zip it up upon finishing and that would be fine based on the language of the rule.”


Mark Allen on ‘Zippergate’

Fast forward 24 hours and the latest voice to weigh in on the saga was six-time IRONMAN World Champion and triathlon GOAT Mark Allen. He was unimpressed by what went down in Maine.

He reasoned: “I’m just trying to figure this ruling out. Apparently the ruling says you can have your zipper down, but it has to be secured at the bottom. I guess so that your jersey isn’t flapping around. Well his thing came undone at the bottom and so he got disqualified.

“I’m thinking to myself, what genius was sitting around thinking ‘hmm, let me make a ruling about how far down a zipper can go before it’s illegal, a zipper on your trisuit.

“Who cares if it’s completely undone at the bottom. The guy’s not exposing himself, he’s definitely not getting any kind of a race advantage by having his jersey completely undone, compared to somebody who has their zipper all the way done but it’s still secured at the bottom. I’m just baffled by that rule.”

Allen and Tim Don AGREE on something

Allen also referenced his recent high-profile spat with Tim Don about the ‘Norwegian method’ of training and coaching, as he agreed with the Super League Triathlon pundit completely on this thorny issue.

“A couple of weeks ago Tim Don and I had quite an interesting exchange about the ‘Norwegian method’ and training nowadays compared to other days,” said Allen.

“Well on this topic, we’ve completely agreed. We’re like one mind when it comes to thinking about this.

“So anyway, Matt Sharpe, sorry you got disqualified. Clearly a rule that maybe should be looked at. And if there’s a reason why that thing needs to be zipped at the bottom I would love for somebody to tell me.”

Graham Shaw
Written by
Graham Shaw
Graham has been involved with TRI247 & RUN247 since the summer of 2021. Since then he has provided strategic direction for all news and is passionate about the growth of triathlon as a fan sport.


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