Runners help each other after fall, lifting Olympic spirit

Clyde Nash
August 17, 2016

Midway through the women's 5000m heat the pack bunched up and New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin checked her stride.

The Olympic spirit was on full display during the second heat in the women's 5,000 meter run Tuesday morning.

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin was stunned by Abbey D'Agostino's gesture during their 5000 metres heat in Rio.

Hamblin then helped her up, but D'Agostino couldn't resume running and told Hamblin to go continue without her. Hamblin finished 16th in 16:43.10, and D'Agostino limped to the line in 17:10.02.

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Hamblin expressed her gratitude towards D'Agostino for helping her when she was clearly in distress herself.

Upon finishing the race, an exasperated D'Agostino put her hands on her hips and appeared to laugh, before finding Hamblin for an embrace.

The Kiwi said after the race: 'I'm so grateful for Abbey for doing that. The two competitors hugged, giving everyone that prime example of what people call Olympic Spirit. D'Agostino couldn't get out of the way, so she went down, too.

Team USA announced after the race that D'Agostino will be eligible to run in the final Friday following a protest. The two had never met before, but D'Agostino was not going to let Hamblin lie on the ground. I am so impressed and inspired. It's unclear the severity of her injury.

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"I think there was a chain reaction - I think I hit a foot in front of me", she told NZ Anserine.

D'Agostino began to jog, tenderly, and managed to finish the race, as did Hamblin.

"I've never met her before, like I've never met this girl before, and isn't that just so incredible?" And isn't that just so fantastic. "Why am I on the ground?" "I didn't even realise she was still running". "When someone asks me in 20 years' time what happened in Rio, that's my story".

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