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Letesenbet Gidey falls, helped up with world cross-country championships finish in sight

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Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey collapses while leading near the finish at the 2023 World Cross Country Championships, is helped across the finish line in fourth place and is ultimately disqualified from the race.

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey fell as she was passed for the lead within sight of the finish at the world cross-country championships, then was helped up and crossed the finish line on her own.

Gidey, the world-record holder at 5000m, 10,000m and the half marathon, looked over her shoulder three times at surging Kenyan Beatrice Chebet in the final 100 meters of the 10km race, grimaced, slowed and then collapsed or tripped on the bumpy terrain.

Chebet won in 33 minutes, 48 seconds. As the second- and third-place women finished, a man wearing a credential and Ethiopian team clothes ran onto the course and picked Gidey up. LetsRun.com reported that the man was her coach.

A second man in Ethiopian gear also assisted her briefly before Gidey jogged her final 20 strides on her own, crossing 22 seconds after Chebet. Gidey was disqualified for receiving the assistance.

After finishing, Gidey received medical attention and left “in a wheelchair with water being dumped over her body,” according to LetsRun. Temperatures were around 80 degrees during the race that began at 5:30 p.m. local time.

Nine hours later, Gidey said in a social media post that was doing well.

“Today was a good race with a sad ending for me,” was posted on her account. “Let’s take the good forward to the future.”

Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda won the men’s race in 29:17, beating Ethiopian Berihu Aregawi by nine seconds.

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