Shot-Putter Becomes Last-Minute Hurdler After Injured Teammate Can’t Race

A Belgian athlete demonstrated an amazing level of sportsmanship at the European Athletics Team Championships. The day after 29-year-old shot-putter Jolien Maliga Boumkwo finished 7th in the shot-putting event, she was seen back in the stadium to fill the shoes of a Belgian hurdler who was out with an injury. Although Boumkwo does not compete professionally in hurdling, she agreed to help out so that her team could remain in the race.

In a video of the event, we can see Boumkwo flashing a big smile as she prepares to run on the track. Her coach advised her to be careful and not risk any injury, so she took her time hopping the obstacles while the other racers barreled ahead. Even though she didn't expect to win, Boumkwo caught everyone's attention because of her positive attitude. “It was a beautiful atmosphere,” she said. “I took my race seriously.”

By participating, Boumkwo helped her team avoid disqualification by earning two vital points. “My team is the most important thing for me,” Boumkwo added. “I couldn't let it happen to lose by one point.” Unfortunately, her sacrifice could not cover the disparity in the points, and Belgium's hurdling team was demoted to Division 2.

Regardless of the end result, it was wonderful to see athletes supporting one another.

Belgian shot-putter Jolien Maliga Boumkwo was competing at the European Athletics Team Championships when an emergency happened on her team.

One of the Belgian hurdlers couldn't compete so Boumkwo subbed in to run in the race.

Although not a professional hurdler, she still managed to deliver two points for her team.

But most importantly, she demonstrated amazing sportsmanship.

Jolien Maliga Boumkwo: Instagram
h/t: [NPR]

Related Articles:

Dutch Woman Breaks Track and Field Record That Had Been Unbeaten in 41 Years

Olympian Chloe Kim Carried a Snowboarder to Safety Down a Hill at Mammoth Mountain

In 1936, Two Japanese Olympians Combined Their Medals in a Touching Show of Friendship

Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content