Pulled plug shows hazards of virtual competition

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s triathlon world champion Mirinda Carfrae has found virtual reality competitions created to sustain sport amid the novel coronavirus outbreak have unexpected hazards.

The three-time world ironman champion was competing against Jocelyn McCauley of the United States, Canada’s Angela Naeth and Jeanni Seymour of South Africa in the inaugural Ironman VR Pro Challenge women’s race when disaster struck.

Carfrae was doing well on the 90 kilometer (55 mile) bike stage when she suffered a virtual mechanical failure. Husband Tim O’Donnell tripped over the cord of her smart trainer, disconnecting it and putting her out of the race.

“He decided to bring my trophies in here as motivation and when he walked around the back he kicked out the plug. What an idiot,” Carfrae said.

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McCauley won the race, which was shown live on Facebook, with Naeth finishing second and Seymour third.

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