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New Zealand runner praised for her Olympic spirit

The women’s 5000m event in Rio has resulted a much-talked about story this week as New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin and USA runner Abbey D’Agostino continued to find themselves in the spotlight after a moment of kindness.


The pair collided on the track on 16 August, and the American urged a disoriented Hamblin to get up so they could finish the race. But it soon became apparent that D’Agostino was in fact the athlete injured, and Hamblin stuck with her till the end of the race when she could have ran ahead.

It turned out that D’Agostino finished the last mile of the race with a torn knee ligament and other leg damage, and was immediately taken to hospital, while the IOC granted Hamblin a place in this weekend’s final for her sportsmanship.

Hamblin said on Stuff about the moment she was told to get up from the fall: “I was like, ‘Yep, you’re right. It’s the Olympic Games. We have to finish this’.

“Possibly without Abbey, I’d still be out there lying on the track.

“We’re all so focused on whether we get a medal or whether you win, but it’s actually just cool to be here.

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

While D’Agostino faces a long recovery process, Hamblin is sure the future holds many rewards for the American, saying in the Telegraph: “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’.

“I know that she’s young and she’s going to have so many more opportunities.

“And being such a good human being, she’s going to go so far.”