Patrick Tiernan dramatically collapsed on the track just 50 metres away from the finish after an incredible performance in the 10,000-metre final — yet somehow mustered the strength to get across the line and set his season-best time.
The Australian kept up with the favourites for almost the entire 27-minute race, remaining in the lead group for over nine kilometres until the Ethiopians and Ugandans turned it up a notch.
In brutally hot and humid conditions, Tiernan fell out of frame quickly, as Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega went on to claim gold, then staggering towards the finish line having clearly given everything he had.
“You can see Pat, he is absolutely done and dusted. He is running on heart only here. Running on heart only,” Bruce McAvaney said on Seven.
“He has absolutely collapsed with 50m to go. He picks himself up. He is staggering here. He was there with a lap and a half to go.”
Amazingly, despite the collapse, Tiernan recorded his best time of the track and field season.
After falling with 50 metres left, Tiernan picked himself up and finished 19th with a time of 28:35.06 — his fastest 10,000m, of the season.
Tiernan was helped off the track and needed a wheelchair as he could not walk under his own power. But he inspired many with his pure determination and ability to finish purely on heart.
Earlier, Brandon Starc cleared 2.28m in high jump heat at his first attempt in the day session.
The result puts the brother of Aussie cricket star, Mitchell, into the final for the event.
Starc was equal second in his heat, while there were 13 people across two groups who made the height.
The final is at 8.10pm (AEST) on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Hana Basic didn’t progress through to the women’s’ 100m semi finals. She posted a time of 11.32 seconds in the first round which was good enough for fifth in the heat.