25. July 2017
Fair Play: Hungarian Runner Stops to Help Fallen Teammate Get up in Euro Championship Finals
Event favourite and Youth Olympics bronze medallist Lili Anna Tóth (a former MOL Talent Support Program grantee) was in the lead at the contest held in Grosetto when she stumbled over one of the hurdles and fell. Not all the athletes in the chase managed to go around her, so the runner was unable to stand back up due to her fall and the collisions.
The other Hungarian finalist, Tíra Pavuk stopped and tried to help her teammate, because Tóth was unable to continue the race. Pavuk later told Hungarian sports daily Nemzeti Sport that she did her best to encourage her teammate to get up and continue as she lay on the ground, but Tóth said she was dizzy and it was apparent she was in a state of shock.
Pavuk did continue the race for honour, with the overwhelming support of the crowd. The Hungarian girl said she initially thought that the fans were applausing a different event, and it took her a while to realise that it was she they were cheering for her sportsmanship. In the end, she even managed to overtake to cross the finish line in 12th place.
Incidentally, Pavuk took a stumble in the semi-finals herself after being pushed over one of the hurdles. She stood right up and secured her finals qualification with a personal record and a 15th place finish.
"My goal was to make it through to the finals, which I did after breaking my personal record, so I'm happy," she said assessing events after sacrificing her finals for fair play.
According to information from György Lengyák, the Hungarian team's functional manager, Tóth hit her head and hips as she fell in the finals, and was rushed to hospital. Examinations showed that she didn't break anything, but doctors kept her in hospital for observation due to suspected concussion.