DOHA, Qatar — Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea Bissau was in the final lap of the men’s 5,000 meters heats at the World Athletics Championships Friday when he noticed his opponent struggling.
Jonathan Busby of Aruba was near collapse, as the temperature on the track was 99 degrees with a “feels like” temperature of 122 degrees. While air conditioning kept the track cool, vents were switched off at ground level during competitions to avoid impacting performances.
Seeing Busby struggling, Dabo decided to stop his own race to help and help him cross the finish line.
As they realized what was happening, the crowd in the stadium rose to their feet. After the athletes crossed the finish line together, Busby stood for a moment — remembering to stop his timer — before collapsing to the track. He recovered after receiving medical attention.
While they finished far behind the leaders, the pair won the admiration of many around the world for their sportsmanship and determination. They embraced when they met in person for the first time Saturday.
“You’re the biggest man – with the biggest heart,” Busby told Dabo.