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American Runner Helps Competitor to Finish Line After Falling: 'My Version of Trying to Be a Hero'

·3 min read
Isaiah Jewett, Nijel Amos
Isaiah Jewett, Nijel Amos

Jae C Hong/AP/Shutterstock Isaiah Jewett, Nijel Amos

Isaiah Jewett didn't have the race he expected, but he still ended up a winner.

During his 800m semifinal heat on Sunday, the U.S. runner's hopes of making the final ended when he fell to the ground mid-race after Botswana's Nijel Amos tripped over him.

However, it was what they did next that made an impression on sports fans around the globe. As the pair began to pick themselves up, they extended a hand to one another, pulling each other back up onto their feet. They then put their arms around each other, jogging together to the finish line.

Amos went on to let Jewett finish one step ahead of him, as the pair came in second to last and last place.

"It was devastating. I'm not going to lie," Jewett, 24, told reporters, according to USA Today. "At the end of the day, I was super frustrated. I was so mad because I felt like I had a chance."

But he also realized that there was something more important than winning in Tokyo that day.

"I learned from all the superhero animations I watch, regardless of how mad you are, you have to be a hero at the end of the day. That was my version of trying to be a hero," he added. "Standing up and showing good character, even if it's my rival or whoever I'm racing. I don't want any bad because that's what hero's do. They show their humanity through who they are. They show that they are good people."

Following the race, both Amos and Jewett attempted to appeal the results, but while Amos was reinstated into the final, Jewett was not.

"They said that my part of the race was a part of the 800, like if somebody like clips me and then I from there I clip myself," he explained during a Good Morning America interview on Monday. "But me falling and impeding him — stopped him from continuing, so it was just like at the end of the day that's the way it was and that's OK because — I still can run. I still have feet and I still can push forward so it's OK."

RELATED: After Crashing Into Olympic Hurdle 5 Years Ago, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn Returns to Break a Record and Win Gold

Jewett went on to add that at the end of the day, he still feels "blessed."

"I'm here and I was able to race in that Olympic games and race with everything that I had and have fun," he said. "I didn't come as far as I wanted to, but I had a second to show everybody that I'm here and that's what I hope that I did. I showed that I'm here and I'm going to stay here and show that you can do it if you truly believe in your dreams."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.