Fact Check: No, The Viral Story Is NOT From Tokyo Olympics; Here Is The Truth

An image of two athletes has gone viral on social media with the hashtag ‘Tokyo Olympics’ to insinuate that the viral image and viral story is associated with the ongoing Tokyo Olympics which comes to a close on August 8, 2021.

The image is being shared with a caption that reads in Hindi as, “केनिया के सुप्रसिद्ध धावक अबेल मुताई ओलंपिक प्रतियोगिता में अंतिम राउंड मे दौड़ते वक्त अंतिम लाइन से एक मीटर ही दूर थे और उनके सभी प्रतिस्पर्धी पीछे थे। अबेल ने स्वर्ण पदक लगभग जीत ही लिया था, इतने में कुछ *गलतफहमी* के कारण वे अंतिम रेखा समझकर एक मीटर पहले ही रुक गए। उनके पीछे आने वाले *स्पेन के इव्हान फर्नांडिस* के ध्यान में आया कि अंतिम रेखा समझ नहीं आने की वजह से वह पहले ही रुक गए। उसने चिल्लाकर अबेल को आगे जाने के लिए कहा लेकिन स्पेनिश नहीं समझने की वजह से वह नहीं हिला। आखिर में इव्हान ने उसे *धकेलकर* अंतिम रेखा तक पहुंचा दिया। इस कारण अबेल का प्रथम तथा इव्हान का दूसरा स्थान आया। पत्रकारों ने इव्हान से पूछा “तुमने ऐसा क्यों किया ? मौका मिलने के बावजूद तुमने प्रथम क्रमांक क्यों गंवाया ?” इव्हान ने कहा “मेरा सपना है कि *हम एक दिन ऐसी मानवजाति बनाएंगे* जो एक दूसरे को मदद करेगी ना कि उसकी *भूल* से फायदा उठाएगी, और मैंने प्रथम स्थान नहीं गंवाया।” पत्रकार ने फिर कहा “लेकिन तुमने केनियन प्रतिस्पर्धी को धकेलकर आगे किया।” इसपर इव्हान ने कहा “वह प्रथम था ही। यह प्रतियोगिता उसी की थी।” पत्रकार ने फिर कहा, “लेकिन तुम स्वर्ण पदक जीत सकते थे।” इव्हान ने कहा, “उस जीतने का क्या अर्थ होता। मेरे पदक को सम्मान मिलता ? मेरी मां ने मुझे क्या कहा होता ? संस्कार एक पीढ़ी से दूसरी पीढ़ी तक आगे जाते रहते हैं। मैंने अगली पीढ़ी को क्या दिया होता ? दूसरों की दुर्बलता या *अज्ञान* का फायदा न उठाते हुए उनको मदद करने की सीख मेरी *मां* ने मुझे दी है।” योगेश लाम्बा.”

(English Translation: Kenya’s famous runner Abel Mutai was only one meter away from the finish line while running in the final round at the Olympic competition and all his competitors were behind. Abel almost won the gold medal, but due to some misunderstanding, he stopped a meter away thinking it was the finish line.  Evan Fernandez of Spain following him noticed that he had already stopped because he didn’t understand the finish line. He screamed and told Abel to go ahead but Abel didn’t move because he didn’t understand Spanish. Evan finally pushed him to the finish line. This is why Abel came first and Evan came second. Journalists asked Evan, “Why did you do that? Why did you miss the first place when you had the chance?”. Evan said, “I have a dream that we will one day create a humanity that will help each other not take advantage of their mistake and I didn’t miss the first place.” The journalist again said but you pushed the Kenyan competitor ahead. On this, Evan said, “He was first. This competition belongs to him.” The journalist again said, “But you could have won the gold medal.” Evan said, “What would that win mean. Would my medal be honoured? What would my mother have said to me? Values go forward from one generation to another. What would I have given to the next generation? My mother has taught me to help others without taking advantage of their weaknesses or ignorance” Yogesh Lamba.)

The link to the post can be seen here. Similar posts can be seen here, here, here and here.


NewsMobile did a fact-check and found the claim to be misleading.

On searching with the keyword, ‘Abel Mutai’ we found a similar story was published by The Hindu on July 9, 2020.

However, the report mentioned that the incident was from a cross-country race that took place in Spain in December 2012. The Hindu also reported the incident as ‘Spanish runner Ivan Fernandez Anaya is a hero to the children. In the December 2012 race held at Spain’s Burlada, Kenya’s champion Abel Kiprop Mutai was in the lead and certain of winning the event. But mistakenly thinking that he had crossed the finish line, Mutai pulled up nearly 10 metres before the finish. The Spanish runner, instead of grabbing the opportunity to win the gold, caught up with Mutai and guided him into first place.’

We also found that USA Today has mentioned the same incident on January 19, 2013. The same story was shared with the title that reads, “Heartwarming proof that sportsmanship is not dead.”

“He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him, ” The USA Today report quoted Fernandez Anaya as saying.

Hence, we can ascertain that though the viral post is true, it is NOT associated with the ongoing Tokyo Olympics.

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