Rio de Janeiro, Aug 17: Audiences watching the track and field event witnessed some great sporting spirit at the Rio Olympics Stadium during women's 5,000 metre race here on Tuesday (August 16).
Distance runners Abbey D'Agostino of the US and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand collided with each other during their first round.
But what happened after that would perhaps remain in the memories of the audiences for long, as both the athletes displayed great character and sportsmanship towards one another.
About 3,200 metres into the race D'Agostino collided with Hamblin, possibly because Hamblin slowed her pace down to avoid contact with another runner. D'Agostino hit Hamblin from behind and both fell down on the track.
D'Agostino got up but saw Hamblin was in distress and instead of carrying on with her race the former paused to help the latter up. The duo even tried to continue, but D'Agostino was in pain because of injuries to her leg.
Watching all this, the crowd in the arena gave a roaring cheer to the display of sporting spirit. The sight would also have melted the hearts of millions of audiences watching the event on their TV sets, across the globe.
D'Agostino then asked Hamblin to continue with her race.
Here is the video:
Por su gran gesto olímpico, Nikki Hamblin y Abbey D'Agostino fueron recalificadas por los jueces y avanzaron pic.twitter.com/nTk0yHTPpP— Sebastián Amaya (@sebaamaya) August 16, 2016
Hamblin finished 16th while and D'Agostino limped to the end line. After finishing the race D'Agostino was taken for first-aid.
Their game spirit won hearts of all those present in the stadium. The public demanded that both the runners deserved to get a place in the finals.
Following a protest, both the runners were advanced to Friday's (August 19) final along with Jennifer Wenth of Austria, a third runner who was affected by the collision.
The runners have just lifted the spirit of the game and no matter what happens in the finals, they have already won people's hearts.