Having at least one Belgian athlete compete in the event was even more important as the bottom three countries would be disqualified from Division 1.
Belgian shot putter Jolien Boumkwo overcame obstacles to help her team remain in the game at the European Championships in Poland. As two of her teammates were injured, Boumkwo agreed to run the 100m race and gain at least some points for her team and save it from getting automatically disqualified. At least one Belgian athlete competing at the event was crucial as the bottom three countries would have been disqualified from Division 1. Meanwhile, Boumkwo was 7th in the shot put competition just a day before the race, reports CBS Sports.
A curious incident happened at the European Games in #Poland. A #Belgian runner could not participate in the race because of an injury, so the national team was at risk of disqualification.— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) June 27, 2023
The situation was saved by the Belgian shot put champion Jolien #Boumkwo. She had never… pic.twitter.com/0HovxHCE9U
"My team is the most important thing for me. I couldn't let it happen to lose by one point. That's why I've considered taking part in 100m hurdles," Boumkwo said. "There was no risk for me if I took it calmly. Maybe it's once in a lifetime opportunity to take part in such a run. I really enjoyed the race. There were a few doubts in my mind, but now I can tell I'm glad about this new experience."
After the two hurdlers Belgium brought to the European Team Championships were injured, the team desperately needed someone to run the 100-meter race. Jolien Boumkwo, a shot-putter, stepped onto the track to save her team from disqualification.https://t.co/6A68qVnMc4 pic.twitter.com/wwHIkZEV7k— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 26, 2023
This race was not her area of expertise, but the 29-year-old tried her best despite having no time to prepare. She had a warm smile on her face as she completed the race and ran to avoid getting any points deducted. As she reached the finish line, the competitors congratulated her while giving her best to keep her country from getting disqualified. She reached the finish line in 32.81 seconds but was defeated by 19 seconds by her competitor, Teresa Errandonea of Spain, who won the event with a time of 13.22 seconds.
Team spirit 👏❤️— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) June 26, 2023
Without any runners in the 100m hurdles due to injury, Belgium faced disqualification at the European Championships…
That’s when shot putter and hammer thrower Jolien Boumkwo stepped up 🙌
Boumkwo's story is about participating in a game to help others and not to win it. Similarly, in another touching story about helping others and not just winning, at UCLA, its women's basketball coach Cori Close was disappointed as her team's season ended on March 25 after it lost to South Carolina. But she did not hesitate from praising USC coach Dawn Staley for what Close described as a shining moment of sportsmanship and class amid USC's 59-43 win, reported The State. South Carolina was leading UCLA 46-30 late in the third quarter at Bon Secours Wellness Arena but Emily Bessoir, one of the Bruins' starting forwards, was injured as she battled with USC's Aliyah Boston for a rebound.
Bessoir is down and crawls to the baseline. Refs don't see it as USC is running offense to the other end.— David Cloninger (@DCPandC) March 25, 2023
Dawn sees it and calls timeout so they can help her. She appears to be OK.
Bessoir did not leave the court even as she suffered from pain as South Carolina advanced the ball up the court and turned it into an advantage and eventual victory—five offensive players against four defensive players. A referee had even noticed Bessoir's injury but had still not called a timeout. At this moment, the USC coach Staley took matters into her own hands. Instead of pushing for a win and extending USC's 16-point lead against a woman-down UCLA defense, Staley called a 30-second timeout at the 1:22 mark of the third quarter so Bessoir could receive medical care. "That's exactly what it showed: her class and her global view of the game and what was most important at that moment," Close said. Indeed, true sportsmanship is not just winning every game but being generous to others!