FLASHBACK: Most incredible moment of sportsmanship

Sports often brings out the best in people and the 2006 Gold Coast Marathon was no exception. It saw an incredible moment of sportsmanship from Melbourne runner Andrew Carroll.

Monday July 3, 2006

WHILE the Gold Coast Airport Marathon scored an emphatic PB, the success of the event could be seen not only in the winners, competitors and spectators, but also in spirit.

While record numbers of competitors took to the course, runners also stopped to help others in need of assistance to make it to the finish-line, showing the event was not just about elite athletes, but elite sportsmanship as well.

Gold Coast Bulletin, Monday July 3, 2006
Gold Coast Bulletin, Monday July 3, 2006

Melbourne runner Andrew Carroll surrendered his chance for a personal best time to help Japanese competitor Junko Artant complete the race after she collapsed during the full marathon.

Junko, who gave part of her liver to her husband four years earlier to save his life, thought her only chance at the full marathon was over after being left stranded on the track when her running guide retired with exhaustion.

Junko Artant and Andrew Carroll. Picture: David Clark
Junko Artant and Andrew Carroll. Picture: David Clark

 

Andrew saw the fragile, yet determined 58-year-old woman fall into a bundle on the bitumen, upset and alone. Neglecting his own goals, he picked her up and ran with her the rest of the way, finishing the marathon near the 3hr 30min mark.

"He is a nice guy, a nice guy," cried Junko, as she walked through the finish-line holding Andrew's arm.

"This man is number one."

Junko started training two years earlier with the aim of competing in the Gold Coast Marathon. "I love Australia. It has nice people. I am so lucky. So lucky,'' she said.

In another special scene played out in the dying hours, Tokyo's Kokichi Arai thought his 42km effort was over, just 200m from the finish-line, when he began to cramp.