The last thousand meters are a lonely race for Nahuel Carabaña in the first heat over 3000 meters obstacle at the European Athletics Championships in Munich.

But also a proud one.

Alone, the Andorran runs after the hurried crowd.

But not because he didn't have a chance, but because he had proven to be a helper on the racetrack.

And the applause of the moved audience carries him to the finish.

Achim Dreis

sports editor.

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For four and a half laps, the 17 runners move in a dense pack.

There's scrums, elbows in, spikes hit shins.

In front runs the Dane Axel Vang Christensen.

The clock shows 5:15.13 minutes after 1800 meters for him, 5:32.38 after 1900. Everyone else is close together.

The Andorran Carabaña is also in the thick of it, just a second and a half behind, in 15th place. And then there is a mishap at the next obstacle.

Christensen and the Spaniard Sebastián Martos walk shoulder to shoulder over the black and white beacon, but the Dane gets stuck, stumbles, falls - and the pack rushes over him, past him, leaving the stumbled man on the ground.

Carabaña also continues to run at first, but in the corner of his eye he becomes aware of what has just happened – and then the unbelievable happens: he stops, turns around and takes a few steps back to tend to the colleague who has fallen.

The only 18-year-old Dane struggles, hits the track with his fist and apparently also has pain in addition to his frustration.

He can't get up.

Carabaña gives him his hand, wants to help him up, but he can't.

So he grabs the fallen man under the arms, at least pulls him away from track one so that he doesn't get in the way when the "stompede" of the drumming runner's legs passes by again.

And then, when Christensen has pulled out of the danger zone, a minute behind, he sets out to finish his run after all.

"He could have been injured more seriously," said the Samaritan from Andorra later about the reason for his relief effort.

The ovations of the audience on his final lap inspired him: "That made me very happy".

The applause assured him that he had "done something very good".

He didn't want to know that he had thrown away his own chances.

8:35.22 would have been enough to get into the final, his best time is 8:32.03 – so that would have been quite feasible.

But he didn't feel good and thought: "Maybe I can do something good today." He finished in 9:37.74 - but the time was wasted in view of the gesture.

He didn't want to be called the hero of the day.

"Everyone who is here is a hero," said Carabaña: "Each of us can do something like that.

We can help each other."