Etenesh Diro has been put through to the next round of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase following an appeal filed by the Ethiopian team.
Diro was leading the first-round qualifier when she lost one of her shoes, and what she thought might be her chance at a medal.
Approximately halfway through the race, a tumble on the track resulted in Diro losing part of her shoe. She attempted to put the spike back on but then tossed it and her sock off in order to pursue a comeback in the race. She completed the remaining two laps with only one shoe.
Diro, one of the favorites in Saturday’s event, finished with a time of 9:34.70, seventh in the heat and No. 24 overall.
The IAAF’s jury of appeal reviewed video of the tumble following a series of protests shortly after the race.
Fans on Twitter flocked to praise Diro’s perseverance and heroism, nonetheless.
Not an easy feat (no pun intended) with both shoes, the steeplechase requires endurance and a solid hurdle technique in order to push through water barriers.
Per the Associated Press, “protests were filed by the Ethiopian, Irish and Jamaican teams following the race and, after reviewing the video, the Jury of Appeal advanced Diro, Sara Louise Treacy of Ireland and Aisha Praught of Jamaica to the final.”
Following the race, a discouraged Diro laid on the track while competitors tried to comfort her. She placed fifth in this event four years ago at the London Olympics.
Olympians dedicate their entire livelihood around these fleeting moments, and while disappointment is expected, Diro demonstrated true Olympic spirit that deserves a medal in itself.
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