Five minutes after the winner finished, last-place Lineo Chaka celebrated with three waiting competitors.
The Commonwealth Games may not capture global attention as a matter of course, but a very sporting act performed by three Australian runners have directed global attention to the nation’s multi-sport competition.
In the recent 10,000-meter race, Lesotho representative Lineo Chaka fell far behind the pack, two laps and five minutes from the finish line when gold-medalist Stella Chesang of Uganda finished. Though the winner and many subsequent finishers vacated the field as they finished the grueling event, a trio of Australian competitors — Celia Sullohern, Eloise Wellings, and Madeline Hills — remained at the finish line, waiting patiently and sportingly for the lagging runner to cross.
When Chaka did finish, the newly-united quartet of runners hugged, celebrating their accomplishments.
“I just love racing with two Aussie girls who are just such classy athletes. And I think that is the strength of Australian distance racing,” Sullohern said. “We were all out there having a go. [It was] so lovely to stand there with those girls and show a bit of, I hope, Aussie sportsmanship.”
None of the Australian runners medaled in the race, but thanks to their kind act, they’ve emerged as the stars of this event.