A Kenyan runner gave up a win to help a competitor who collapsed just before the finishing line and his act of kindness earned him $15,000 from appreciative local leaders.
Simon Cheprot and fellow Kenyan runner Kenneth Kipkemoi were competing in the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) Okpekpe International Road Race in Nigeria when Kipkemoi collapsed just before the finishing line, reported Nairobi News.
Last year Cheprot had earned second place in the race and he was the winner in 2016. “Cheprot was men’s title winner in 2016 and was first runner up in the 2018 edition, his ambition being to become first participant to scoop two titles since its inception in 2013,” event promoter Mike Itemuagbor told the Nairobi News.
This athlete Simon Cheprot forfeited his win at Okpekpe Int’l 10KM Road Race in Nigeria on Sunday to help his friend & track rival Kenneth Kipkemoi who collapsed a few metres from the finish line! Race organizers & IAAF rep awarded him with Sh1 million each for his #ActOfKindness pic.twitter.com/m00Rv4ZUUt
— Komen S.K (@skkomen) May 28, 2019
He had a good chance of winning the race this year as well but he gave it up to help Kipkemoi.
“My dad told me one day: ‘When you’re walking and you meet a sick person on the road, help him. Do not leave him,’ so that was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw my friend on the ground,” Cheprot told Nairobi News.
The athlete dragged his collapsed competitor to the finishing line and handed him over to the medics.
“Simon may not have fulfilled his ambition of becoming the first athlete to win two Okpekpe titles since 2013 when we began this race but he came to Okpekpe this year, ran and left as the hero. He did not win any medals but he won hearts,” said Itemuagbor.
A local politician in the State of Edo awarded Cheprot $10,000, another $3,000 was given by Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu of Edo State, and $2,000 was raised by others.
— Nairobi News (@Nairobi_News) May 28, 2019
In a similar incident in June 2018, spectators at the children’s sporting event Strider Cup 2018, which was held in Osaka, Japan, experienced true sportsmanship in action.
Japanese bicycle company Strider sponsored the race in which young children aged 2 to 5 years old rode the company’s bicycles around a racetrack.
The balance bikes have no pedals or brakes and are designed to aid young children to learn how to balance without the use of training wheels. Children have to push their bikes for the entire race, navigate the course, not hit another rider, and not lose their balance.
During the race, one child saw another fall off his bike. Instead of doggedly riding past to reach the finish line as quickly as possible, the young boy stopped to fetch the fallen bicycle.
He grabbed it and dragged it across to the other boy before they both got back on their Striders to finish the race side by side.
Jose Rivera contributed to this report.