American Runner Isaiah Jewett Falls In Olympic Race. He Showed Amazing Sportsmanship, Along With Botswana’s Nijel Amos

(Photo by Antonin Thuillier/ Getty Images)

Caroline Kucera Contributor
Font Size:

While turning the final corner in the men’s 800-meter race Sunday, American runner Isaiah Jewett demonstrated inspiring sportsmanship after being tripped from behind by a fellow competitor.

Jewett was running in a tightly packed group when Botswana’s Nijel Amos, who was running directly behind Jewett, clipped his foot and caused him to lose his balance, video shows. The two became tangled and crashed to the ground.

“I just felt like when I was starting to lift, somebody hit the back of my heel and that caused me to fall,” Jewett said, according to USA Today. “It was devastating.”

The two sat on the track for a moment before Jewett picked himself off the track, and walked toward Amos with an arm outstretched, video shows.

“Come on, man,” Jewett said, pulling Amos to his feet, according to The Washington Post.

“I’m sorry,” Amos reportedly said, to which Jewett replied, “Let’s just finish the race, man.”

They put their arms around each other and hobbled to the finish line, blood dripping down Jewett’s leg. They finished nearly a full minute behind the winners, The Washington Post reported.

Jewett entered the race as the anticipated front-runner after beating the competition in the NCAA finals for the University of Southern California in the spring and making waves at the U.S. Olympic Trials by winning against world champion Donavan Brazier. In Jewett’s first round of competition in Tokyo, he clocked his fastest preliminary time ever, 1:45.07, according to The Washington Post.

Both Amos and Jewett petitioned officials to allow them to run in the finals Wednesday after the crash. Amos was reinstated, but Jewett was denied, The Washington Post reported.

“That’s just super devastating because I felt like I was starting to show people who I am,” Jewett said according to The Washington Post. “I was going to show the world.”

Jewett still feels “blessed” to have competed in Tokyo in the first place. (RELATED: Female Track Star Named ‘World’s Sexiest Athlete’ To Compete In Tokyo Olympics)

“I have to live in that moment, not the moment that just happened,” Jewett said, according to The Associated Press. “I’m able to go on to this stage and show you guys that this is me. That’s what I want to continue to do, to show who I am. If it wasn’t today, I’ll try again tomorrow. That’s not going to stop me from trying to be a hero.”