A touching scene played out yesterday in the Rio Olympics, all too rare in these super-competitive Games. In one of the 5,000m heats after Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin both stumbled and fell on the track, Abbey got to her feet first but, instead of running on, put her arms around Nikki, who was still dazed, and raised her to her feet.
However, it was Abbey D’Agostino who was more seriously injured with a twisted ankle and it was then her turn to be helped. Nikki Hamblin did so by hanging back from the main group and encouraging Abbey to hobble to the end of the course.
Neither of them thus qualified for the final race but they were praised by their fellows as Abbey was taken away in a wheelchair. As an antidote to national rivalry — and which, incidentally, could never have happened in an all-male race — it was refreshing for all of us.