World Championship Runner Helps Ailing Rival Cross the Line

You didn’t need a stopwatch or measuring tape to identify the biggest winner on the first night of the World C’ships

Published
Sports
2 min read
Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea Bissau carries Jonathan Busby of Aruba to the finish line during the men’s 5,000 meters heats during the World Athletics Championships Friday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Doha, Qatar. 
i

You didn't need a stopwatch or a measuring tape to identify the biggest winner on the first night of track and field's World Championships.

The gold medal for sportsmanship went to Braima Suncar Dabo, the 5,000-meter runner from Guinea-Bissau who stopped his own race to help a struggling competitor finish on Friday night.

Dabo held up an exhausted Jonathan Busby and together they staggered around the last turn and over the finish line to great applause, even though the other runners had crossed 5 minutes earlier. Busby, from Aruba, collapsed onto the track and was placed in a wheelchair by medical staff.

"Any athlete in that situation would do the same thing," Dabo said through a translator.

"It was something normal to do, to help someone from another country, because (Busby) was representing his country as well." All Busby said was "thank you," Dabo added.

Aruba’s Jonathan Busby leaves in a wheelchair after a men’s 5000m heat at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. 
Aruba’s Jonathan Busby leaves in a wheelchair after a men’s 5000m heat at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. 
(Photo: AP)

Both Busby and Dabo are the only athletes from their nations at the World Championships. Both men competed under special invitations that allow countries without strong track programs to send one athlete to the championships, even if that athlete has not met qualifying standards.

Dabo was far off the pace, and his goal wasn't to qualify for the final, but just to run a personal best. Dabo's time — nearly five minutes slower than the leader — was officially recorded as a personal best even after stopping to help Busby. But Dabo said he'd been much faster in the past.

Officially, Busby was disqualified. But the crowd roared for he and Dabo as they crossed the line.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!