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Alana Boyd’s gracious gesture in Rio final

Saturday, 20 August 2016 | Athletics Australia



Sometimes, the manner in which you conduct yourself on the world stage will earn you more praise than your result.

In a heart-warming gesture that was broadcast around the world, Alana Boyd found the courage to hug and congratulate young bronze medal winner Eliza McCartney (NZL) after the final of the women’s pole vault. Boyd and McCartney both had cleared 4.80m, but due to countback, the 19-year-old took the bronze medal.

The embrace would’ve been desperately painful for Boyd, who herself came so close to the medal herself after her years of commitment.

Rio was Boyd’s third Olympic Games, and her fourth place had been her best performance yet. Her finishing height fell just short of her Australian and Oceanian record she set months before Rio at 4.81m.

She may not have walked away from Rio with any silverware, but for Boyd, winning the hearts of two nations as well as the sporting public, was some consolation for her Olympic efforts.

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