Runners help each other after collision

Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino spurred each other on to finish their women's 5000 metres heat following a nasty collision.

Nikki Hamblin Abbey D'Agostino - cropped

Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D'Agostino following their 5000m heats.

Nikki Hamblin labelled a sporting gesture from Abbey D'Agostino as the definition of Olympic spirit after the pair spurred each other on to finish their women's 5000 metres heat following a nasty collision on Tuesday. 

New Zealander long distance runner Hamblin and D'Agostino of the United States both hit the deck on the fourth lap in the second heat at the Olympic Stadium on day 11 of the Rio Games.

D'Agostino rose first and urged Hamblin to get to her feet and continue the race, but when the pair attempted to get back into their stride it was soon clear that the American was more seriously injured.

Hamblin stopped to encourage D'Agostino as she limped heavily before continuing to cross the line almost 27 second in front of her.

Both runners were awarded a place in the final following an appeal and Hamblin expressed her gratitude to D'Agostino, who she embraced after watching her show great character to cross the line.

"I went down, and I was like, 'What's happening? Why am I on the ground?' Then suddenly this hand on my shoulder, like 'Get up, get up, we have to finish this' and I was like, 'Yup, yup, you're right. This is the Olympic Games. We have to finish this.'

"I'm so grateful for Abbey for doing that for me. That girl is the Olympic spirit right there.

"I've never met her before, like I've never met this girl before, and isn't that just so amazing? Such an amazing woman.

"Regardless of the race and the result on the board, that's a moment that you're never ever going to forget for the rest of your life, that girl shaking my shoulder, like 'Come on, get up'."

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