These Olympic rivals helping each other finish the 5,000m race is what the Games are all about


It's every Olympian's nightmare. You train for four years to compete to your very best, then an accident happens which could take it all away.

And so it was for 5,000m runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino when both athletes crashed to the ground during the Olympic semi-final in Rio.

Hamblin, representing New Zealand, fell at around the 3,000m mark, causing D'Agostino of the USA to plough into the back of her. Both women fell to the floor, and it seemed to all be over.

D'Agostino finishes the 5,000m
(Matt Dunham/AP)

However, the women had other plans. D'Agostino got to her feet and encouraged her rival to do so too, only in her haste to get up, it became obvious she was suffering from an injury.

As Hamblin rejoined the race, D'Agostino mustered her willpower to continue, eventually finishing with a time of 17:10.02.

The two runners embrace
(David J. Phillip/AP)

D'Agostino was met at the finish line by Hamblin, who embraced her.

The internet was awash with praise for the pair, saying they embodied the Olympic spirit.

Even Paula Radcliffe got involved.

It wasn't all bad news for the pair. Despite finishing last, both athletes were given places in the final. Whether D'Agostino will be fit to compete will depend on the results of an MRI she is receiving, after being escorted from the stadium in a wheelchair by volunteers.

D'Agostino holds hands with Hamblin after the finish
(Martin Meissner/AP)