Chivalry pays off in women’s 5k

The Myanmar Times - - Olympics -

TWO Olympic ath­letes who helped each other across the fin­ish line af­ter an ac­ci­den­tal mid-race col­li­sion in the women’s 5000m have been granted places in the fi­nal, or­gan­is­ers con­firmed.

Nikki Ham­blin and Abbey D’Agostino were praised for their sport­ing be­hav­iour af­ter they clashed dur­ing the Au­gust 16 heat.

The drama un­folded when Amer­i­can run­ner D’Agostino clipped New Zealan­der Ham­blin with around 2000m to go, send­ing both sprawling to the ground.

As Ham­blin lay on the track dis­traught, her hopes for an Olympic medal seem­ingly evap­o­rated, D’Agostino ten­derly helped her to her feet and en­cour­aged her to fin­ish the race.

“I went down, and I was like, ‘What’s hap­pen­ing? Why am I on the ground?’ Then sud­denly this hand on my shoul­der, like ‘Get up, get up, we have to fin­ish this’ and I was like, ‘Yup, yup, you’re right. This is the Olympic Games. We have to fin­ish this,’” Ham­blin said.

“I’m so grate­ful for Abbey for do­ing that for me. That girl is the Olympic spirit right there.

“I’ve never met her be­fore, like I’ve never met this girl be­fore, and isn’t that just so amaz­ing? Such an amaz­ing woman.”

D’Agostino suf­fered an an­kle in­jury in the col­li­sion, but Ham­blin de­lib­er­ately hung back in the field to of­fer en­cour­age­ment as the two women com­pleted the race.

“If I can even give her like 1 per­cent back of what she gave me when she helped me get up off the track that would be amaz­ing,” Ham­blin said.

“I can’t even put into words how amaz­ing it is that she ac­tu­ally fin­ished. When I turned around at the fin­ish line and she’s still run­ning I was like, ‘Wow’.

“I’m never go­ing to for­get that mo­ment. When some­one asks me what hap­pened in Rio in 20 years’ time, that’s my story.”

Ini­tially it looked as if the two women plus a third run­ner in­volved in the col­li­sion – Jen­nifer Wenth of Aus­tria – had failed to qual­ify for the fi­nal.

How­ever a state­ment by Olympic or­gan­is­ers said all three had been ad­vanced to the fi­nal to­mor­row.

Photo: AFP

New Zealand’s Nikki Ham­blin, right, helps the USA’s Abbey D’agostino af­ter she was in­jured in the women’s 5000m round 1.

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