A Filipino track athlete at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games was commended on Wednesday for continuing his pet event despite suffering a limp in the 800-meter race.
Twenty-three-year-old Edwin Giron, an athlete from the University of the Philippines’ Track and Field Team who represented the country at the 2033 SEA Games, was dashing across the track as its frontrunner when he suddenly fell.
The incident happened in the last 200 meters of his last lap, according to coach Jay Futalan. He claimed it was due to leg cramps.
The event was the men’s 800-meter run finals held at the Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Wednesday.
A video uploaded by the Facebook page “Pilipinas Run-Jump-Throw” showed Giron leading the pack when he suddenly stumbled and fell around the 10:44-mark.
The rest of his rivals continued to run while the Pinoy was given medical assistance.
“He was in great pain and was approached by the medical team,” Futalan said in a TikTok clip.
A stretcher was also deployed, but Giron later stood up, gained momentum, and started to run, earning cheers and claps from the audience.
“He refused to give up and kept going despite the pain,” Futalan said in his video.
“What we can learn from him is even when you are no longer sure of winning, still choose to give it your all. We are proud of you, Edwin!” he added.
“This is what sports is all about!” the coach said in a Facebook post. “We are proud of you, Edwin Giron!”
Giron’s perseverance to continue with the 800-meter race despite his condition additionally earned him commendations and laudatory remarks from his fellow Filipinos.
Photos of the incident were posted by news outlets such as The Philippine STAR, tagging it as “the power of human spirit.”
“Parang ako [‘yung] natalo, kuya Edwin Giron, nang dahil sa napanood kitang bumagsak, but [I] know you did your all best to represent our country, so that’s why [I’m] so very proud of you [and] I salute you!” a Pinoy wrote.
“Still congrats, kuya Edwin Giron, nakakaiyak [panoorin], proud na proud kami sa’yo, tinapos mo [pa rin] kahit na hamstring ka na,” another Facebook user commented.
“A Filipino fighting spirit worth more than gold. Let me share for the first time, a 32nd SEA Games event that must and should be remembered. Mabuhay ka, Giron. You are bringing home a SEA Games experience that is worth more than gold,” wrote a different Pinoy.
“Salute to you, sir, you still finished the race with dignity. Mabuhay ka!” exclaimed another online user.
“We are proud [of] you. That’s tenacity. You won in our hearts,” commented a different Filipino.
Giron also represented the Philippines in the men’s 1,500-meter race on Monday, May 8 where he reportedly landed fifth.
He is known as a back-to-back 800-meter race king in the UAAP, or the University Athletics Association of the Philippines.