In a week that was dominated by stories about Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o, it’s hard not to be a little cynical about the sporting world. The story of long distance runner Iván Fernández Anaya may serve as a welcome antidote. The Spanish runner, who trains in the Basque capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz, has become something of a cult hero for a kind gesture that helped an opponent win a race.
Carlos Arribas fills in the details:
[Fernández Anaya] was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line. Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.