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US runner stops to help Kiwi rival

2016-08-17 14:30
Abbey D'Agostino and Nikki Hamblin (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Good sportsmanship was on show in the women's 5000m heats in Rio, when runner Abbey D'Agostino stopped mid-race to help fallen opponent Nikki Hamblin to her feet.

D'Agostino of the United States and Hamblin of New Zealand both have a place in the 5000m final despite finishing last and second-last in their heat.

The two runners were competing in the first round heat when they collided and crashed to the ground just over halfway through the race.

"Get up," the American told her rival before helping her to her feet. "We have to finish this."

D'Agostino was the worse-off of the pair, having injured her ankle, but still finished the race with Hamblin by her side, offering encouragement.

"That girl is the Olympic spirit right there," Hamblin said. "I've never met her before. And isn't that just so amazing? Such an amazing woman.

"She helped me first. I tried to help her. I'm never going to forget that moment. When someone asks me what happened in Rio in 20 years' time, that's my story."

The two met at the finish line to share a hug before D'Agostino left the stadium in a wheelchair, and faces an uncertain fate ahead of the final on Friday.

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