Chaka is greeted by the Australians five minutes after the winning runner had past.
Chaka is greeted by the Australians five minutes after the winning runner had past.

Sportsmanship at its best: Aussie girls’ classy gesture

WHILE it may seem clichéd, sometimes there is more to sport than taking home the gold.

Australia's 10,000m trio Eloise Wellings, Madeline Hills and Celia Sullohern finished unplaced in the gruelling track event, but their stunning act of sportsmanship following the race didn't go unnoticed.

The exhausted Aussie women had every right to immediately leave the track with the rest of the competitors, but instead they opted to stay behind long after Uganda star Stelle Chesang won the event.

The reason? There was still one runner yet to finish.

 

Madeline Hills consoles Celia Sullohern after they failed to place in the 10,000m.
Madeline Hills consoles Celia Sullohern after they failed to place in the 10,000m.

 

Lineo Chaka of the little known nation of Lesotho came in last place over five minutes behind the winner, and a further three minutes behind the runner in front of her.

She was met at the finish line by the gracious Australian girls who waited to congratulate her on completion of one of the most physically demanding events at the Commonwealth Games.

Sullohern - who finished fifth - said she was proud of the moment and proud of her sport.

"I just love racing with those two girls - they're such classy athletes," Sullohern said.

"I think that's the strength of Australian distance running particularly.

"We're there for each other and we're all out there having a go.

"It was lovely to stand there and show what I hope was a bit of Aussie sportsmanship."

The beautiful gesture went well beyond the requirements of the athletes, but ultimately came as one of the highlights of the race.

When the 2022 Birmingham Games come around in fours years time the Aussie girls won't be remembered for their act of sportsmanship, but it's moments like this that will ensure the Gold Coast event as a whole won't be forgotten.

The Australian women wait for Lineo Chaka of Lesotho to finish the event.
The Australian women wait for Lineo Chaka of Lesotho to finish the event.
The Australias went well out of there way to wait for Chaka.
The Australias went well out of there way to wait for Chaka.
Chaka is greeted by the Australians five minutes after the winning runner had past.
Chaka is greeted by the Australians five minutes after the winning runner had past.


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