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WATCH: Andorran runner’s display of sportsmanship at European Championships

Denmark's Axel Vang Christensen was leading the steeplechase when he crashed into the barrier and tumbled onto the track

Photo by: James Rhodes

On Tuesday, in the heats of the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2022 European Championships in Munich, Andorran runner Nahuel Carabaña is being praised for a tremendous act of sportsmanship. Carabaña stopped and helped Danish runner Axel Vang Christensen, who fell to the track after hitting one of the barriers.

Christensen was leading the 17-man field at the 5:30 mark of the steeplechase when he smacked into the barrier and tumbled onto the track. Most of the runners continued past him, except Carabaña.

The 22-year-old turned back to aid Christensen, 18, reaching out a hand to help him up. The Dane declined Carabaña’s help and stayed seated on the track. Carabaña knelt to talk to him, then stood back up, moving behind the injured runner to drag him off the inside lane of the track.

Nahuel Carabaña pulls Axel Vang Christensen away from the track after tumbling over the steeple. Photo: James Rhodes

Carabaña carried on with the race and found himself 250 metres behind the leaders. He ended up last, finishing more than a minute behind the automatic qualifiers for the final, and 40 seconds behind the second last finisher. Carabaña received a standing ovation from the audience in Munich for his courageous move.

The Andorran, who ran the final two and a half laps alone, said the applause as he finished the race made him “very happy.”

Carabaña told reporters post-race that he was about to carry on, but something inside him said he needed to help Christensen and move him before the runners returned for the next lap.

“Up to that moment, I did not even know which country he was from,” Carabaña said. “I did not know who he was. I just wanted to help him. I tried to carry him out off the track, because he was in a lot of pain.”

Carabaña’s act of selflessness marked the end of the road for him at the European Championships. “I knew I wasn’t fully fit, and it was not my day,” said Carabaña. “But being able to help out someone is a pleasure.”