In an event that has caught social media on fire with the buzz Kiwi middle-distance runner Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey d’Agostino showed what true sportsmanship looks like.
Both girls were involved in a fall during their 5000m heat. Hamblin seemingly clipped her foot on the inside curb of the track and brought down d’Agostino with her.
Hamblin Recounts that “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.”
They then helped each other up and continued the race together even though they were both in pain.
“If I can even give her like 1 per cent back of what she gave me when she helped me get up off the track that would be amazing. I can’t even put into words how amazing it is that she actually finished. She’s hurt.”
“She could hardly stand up. She helped me first. I tried to help her. She was pretty bad. I didn’t even realise she was still running. When I turned around at the finish line and she’s still running I was like, ‘Wow’.”
After crossing the finish line the two girls hugged to enraptured applause from the crowd before D’Agostino was taken away in a wheelchair.
Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that’s a moment that you’re never ever going to forget for the rest of your life, that girl shaking my shoulder, like, ‘Come on, get up’.
“I’m so grateful for Abbey for doing that for me.” Said Hamblin. “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.
“Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that’s a moment that you’re never ever going to forget for the rest of your life, that girl shaking my shoulder, like, ‘Come on, get up’.”
While both their times were thrown off by the fall a review afterwards gave the greenlight for both runners to advance to the finals.