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US hurdler evokes memories of Derek Redmond

20/08/2010

The Olympic Spirit has been in full view on the athletics track at the inaugural YOG in Singapore, with US hurdler Gregory Coleman showing true grit and determination by limping over the finish line in his heat of the boys' 400m hurdles, after tearing his hamstring halfway through the race.

With the crowd in the Bishan Stadium rising to their feet to salute his bravery, memories turned to the sight of Great Britain's Derek Redmond – aided by his father – hobbling to the end of his 400m semi-final at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, after suffering a similar injury.

Coleman, who was targeting a medal in Singapore, collapsed after 200m of the race. Despite his obvious pain, he rose to attempt several more hurdles before battling to the finish line to rapturous applause from the crowd.

"It meant more than winning the race," he said after the race. "I had to do the best I could do with what I have. It hurt every time [I went over a hurdle] and it was getting stiffer.”

The 17-year-old from Texas is now counting on the support of his team-mates as he is forced to watch the rest of the Games from the stands.

"It is more important than gold," he said. "It is better to be with the team as they will help keep my spirits up."

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