Rio Olympics 2016: How the world reacted to Nikki Hamblin's golden moment

New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin, left, and United States' Abbey D'Agostino embrace after completing their heat in the Olympic 5000m. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin, left, and United States' Abbey D'Agostino embrace after completing their heat in the Olympic 5000m. Photo / AP

New Zealand distance runner Nikki Hamblin was involved in a moment of true Olympic spirit overnight.

Now, she's making headlines around the world in what can only be described as the "moment" of the Games.

The Daily Mail led with the story on their online site, asking: "The most inspirational moment of the Games so far? US and New Zealand runners HELP each other finish race after fall during women's 5,000m."

USA Today also led with the story while other global news organisations featured the story prominently on their online sites.

Meanwhile, various athletes and journalists took to Twitter to share and praise Hamblin's golden moment.

Nick Zaccardi tweeted: "What sportsmanship from Abbey D'Agostino and New Zealand's Nikki Hamblin." While Big Sport said on Twitter it was: "What the Olympics are all about!"

Hamblin, 28, competing in the women's 5000m heats, tripped on the inside curb of the track with four laps to go, bringing her US competitor Abbey D'Agostino down to the ground with her.

Both athletes, clearly hurt and emotional, proceeded to take time to help each other to their feet to continue on with the race.

Hamblin and D'Agostino may have finished as the last two competitors in the field, but their embrace and shared tears at the finish line helped create a true illustration of the Olympic competitive spirit to the world.

D'Agostino was taken away in a wheelchair.

After initially failing to finish within the qualifying time both runners were later added to the final after a protest from both the New Zealand and US teams.​

Speaking to Radio Sport's Brenton Vannisselroy, Hamblin said she wasn't sure how the fall occurred and who was at fault.

"I'm disappointed for her. She seems pretty badly hurt. I'm grateful I've come away pretty much unscathed. It was a lonely last four or five laps. But I was thinking 'I have to finish. I have to keep going'."

"I'm don't exactly know what happened in the race I saw some movement ahead of me in the pack and I think it was a sort of chain reaction. I guess in a 5k in that standard everyone is going to be bunched. Everyone is going to be jostling for their place. It's the risk you take running at the back of that. I felt it was the best move for me because I wanted to conserve energy.

"Not really the way I saw my Olympic Games going. But looking forward to another four years," Hamblin said before knowing she had made the final. "I'll pick myself up and keep going forward."

- NZ Herald

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