Rio Olympics – Nikki and Abbey’s sportsmanship rewarded

The heroic moments when ex-Dorchester athlete, Nikki Hamblin and her American rival Abbey D’Agostino came to each others’ support at the Rio Olympics have lead to both athletes winning a very special award.

Their iconic moments followed them tumbling together as they ran in a tightly packed group of runners. First Abbey and then Nikki helped each other to their feet so that they could both complete their event, way behind the other runners. The two athletes embraced at the end of the race and won the admiration of spectators around the world.

Now the pair has each been presented the prestigious Baron De Coubertin Medal. This medal is awarded by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in recognition of those who demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship and Olympic spirit. It’s named after Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the IOC.

Since its inception in 1964 the medal had been awarded only 17 times and on only 12 of these occasions were the recipients individual athletes or athletic teams.

Heroic Nikki in Rio 5000m olympic final

Following an incident that demonstrated the true Olympian spirit and warmed the hearts of viewers around the world, Nikki Hamblin was awarded a place in the final of the 5000m for women at Rio 2016.

The drama began towards the end of Nikki’s heat whilst she was running in the tightly bunched pack. Suddenly, in a jumble of legs, Nikki crashed to the track together with American athlete, Abbey D’Agostino.

Both athletes were clearly hurt and confused and at first just lay on the track. It was D’Agostino who got to her feet first, but rather than race on, she stopped to help her rival up. They started to run again but it was clear that the American was in considerable pain as she collapsed on the track. This time it was Nikki’s turn to extend the hand of friendship as she stopped to help her rival to her feet.

The athletes bravely carried on and completed the remaining four laps. Hamblin came home first of the pair, more than 26 seconds behind the rest of the field, and waited at the finish to embrace the hobbling D’Agostino as she crossed the line.

In a generous gesture, the International Olympics Committee, offered Nikki and Abbey places in the final of the event. This was an invitation that only Nikki was fit enough to accept but, clearly suffering from the drama of the previous heat, she was only fit enough to complete the final in 17th and final place.

However, it will be an Olympics that she will always remember with pride and pleasure because of the kind incident that personified the fundamental ideals of the Olympian movement.

Nikki Hamblin at Rio

Former Dorchester AC athlete, Nikki Hamblin will make her Olympic debut this week in Rio de Janeiro. Dorchester-born Nikki was an English Schools endurance champion for three consecutive years and was voted the British Athletics Supporters Club young female athlete of the year for 2004. It was in this year that Nikki achieved her first international success by winning the silver medal in the Commonwealth Youth Championships 1500m.

After finishing school, Nikki migrated to New Zealand where she took out national citizenship and ran at the highest levels for her adopted country. Pride of place in Nikki’s international career to date goes to the two silver medals she won at 800m and 1500m at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India in 2010. Since then she has reached the finals of the World Championships and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and has been six-times New Zealand National Champion.
Nikki Hamblin Commonwealth silver in 2010
Look out for Nikki in the 1500m heats on Saturday 13th August and the heats of the 5000m on Tuesday 16th August ….. and remember she started at Dorchester Athletic Club just like you

Dorchester Stars at English Schools

Star Dorchester AC sprinter, Robinson Okumu, achieved his club’s highest ever male track placing when winning a bronze medal at the 2016 English Schools Athletic Association Championships in Gateshead.
Robinson
The Thomas Hardye School pupil was running in his favourite 100m and was looking to improve on the fifth place he secured in the 2015 championships. Competing for Dorset in the Intermediate Boys category, Robinson eased into the final with second place in the heats and fourth place in the semi-final. His semi-final time of 10.98s was his legal best but, nevertheless, the slowest of the eight qualifiers.

The final brought the best out of Robinson, as big races always do, and, with the race of his life, he recorded a most impressive third position. Rob’s time, of 11.14s, against a very strong headwind, was less than a tenth of a second behind eventual winner, Kaie Chambers Brown of West Midlands.

Dorchester AC’s two star javelin throwers Eva Bowring and Olivia Willmore, both from Sir John Colfox School, Bridport, also competed for Dorset in the same championships. Eva finished 11th of 21 in the Intermediate age group with a near-best throw of 37.45m and Olivia was also in top form as her throw of 32.74m earned her 12th out of 21.
evaolivia

DAC Mini Games

Dorchester Athletic Club is holding a Mini Games event on Sunday 10 July 2016 at The Thomas Hardye School.

Please see following event flyer that will be posted in Dorchester schools over the next week or so. Entry places are limited, so please register as soon as possible if you would like to take part.

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