The two athletes were about 3,000 meters into the 5,000m heats when American D’Agostino accidentally clipped the heel of New Zealand’s Hamblin. ’ And suddenly there’s this hand on my shoulder, like ‘get up, get up, we have to finish this!The accidental touch sent the Kiwi tumbling to the ground with the American then tripping over her and crashing as well while their fellow competitors carried on with the race. ’ 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’.” The two women, both 24 years old, soon switched roles in the helping hand department as it became apparent that USA’s D’Agostino had injured her knee in the fall and had difficulty walking.Once on her feet, instead of moving on to continue in the race, D’Agostino turned to help up Hamblin, who had taken a pretty hard tumble and was lying prone on the track. The injured runner then tried to urge the New Zealander to go on without her but she would not and instead she helped to hold her competitor and provided her with encouragement to amble towards the finish line.It is a move strongly reminiscent of the 1956 race when John Landy lent a hand to fellow Australian Ron Clarke, and will surely be as immortalized in the memories of the people.Strangers at the beginning of the race, the two female athletes ended their 5000 meter race eternally linked — not by victory but through a simple act of kindness.
The winner of the heat was Almaz Ayana, from Ethiopia, who completed the race over two minutes before the duo who fell.Hamblin not only waited D’Agostino on to amble across the finish line, but she cheered her on the entire time.