Olympic spirit Nijel Amos and Isaiah Jewett at Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Question’s goosebump moment
Question: “Hi, I am Question and I am from Botswana. My goosebump moment was during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics which were actually held in 2021. What had happened was two athletes, Nijel Amos from Botswana and Jewett, I think he is American, Jewett tripped and fell and so Nigel tripped over him and also went down. It is in how these athletes reacted to what had happened to them because we know that normally people do whatever they can to win the Olympics and if something like this would happen to you, they would be frustrated. But not these two. What happened is they picked each other up, shook hands and helped each other to the finish line. This was the most humane thing ever. It showed that there really is hope in humanity and I was really impressed.”
The story of the stumble
Isaiah Jewett of the United States and Nijel Amos of Botswana had an accident that went viral and became an example of the Olympic spirit at Tokyo 2020.
During semifinal 3 of the 800 meters, the two tripped and fell to the track. In a semi-distance event, but with great speed, that action automatically sentenced their fate in the race, in which they would not advance to the final.
However, they were in the news for a fact that transcends the results. They became an example of healthy competition.
Instead of getting upset or angry with each other, they helped each other up, put their arms around each other and finished the race together, 54 seconds behind the winner. But in this case, time didn’t matter.
At the time of the stumble, the American was ahead of Amos and was about to start his final sprint around the last corner when the back of his heel appeared to hit Amos.
Proud despite the results
Jewett arrived at Tokyo 2020 with a best of 1m43s85/100; Amos had a personal best of 1m42s91/100 in 2021. Although conditions are not transitively replicated in the races (due to weather conditions, opponents, etc.), if both had repeated their personal bests, they would have been first and second in the race.
At the time of the incident, Jewett was fighting for second place and Amos was following behind. In other words, the unfortunate maneuver ruined their qualification for the final for both. And yet they put on a good face. They walked to the finish line despite leaving the “unseemly” record of 2m38s for the 800 meters. Something unthinkable for Olympic athletes.
Athletes who for some reason cannot complete a race with elite times usually leave the track to annul the score and not be recorded in history. It is often seen as a disappointing precedent. Jewett and Amos, on the other hand, were proud. They had no problem recording those 2m38s for history.
Who is Nijel Amos?
Nijel Amos is an athlete who made Botswana history, as at the age of 18, he gave his country its first Olympic medal at the Olympic Games in London 2012. He won the silver medal and also set the world junior record (which still stands) in the 800m flat.
His performance in Rio 2016 was totally opposite to what was expected, but in Tokyo 2020 he returned to the Olympic Games looking for revenge, aiming for gold.
Nijel Amos of Botswana was the best in the first round, thus earning his pass to the semifinal.
In the third semifinal of the 800 meters, Nijel Amos’ pace had him among the favorites, but near the last leg he stumbled with Isaiah Jewett of the United States and both fell on the track, leaving the rest of his rivals to escape.
However, the International Olympic Committee reviewed the event on video footage and determined that it was Jewett who caused Nijel Amos to fall. Thus, the Botswana middle-distance runner was awarded the qualification to the 800m final.
More about Nijel Amos in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics:
- Nijel Amos – Wikipedia
- Nijel Amos wins the 800m with a world lead in Monaco
- Nijel Amos on what he learned from racing David Rudisha