Ahead of the pack, but marathon runner waits because ...
He may have come in eighth during the SEA Games marathon event last Sunday (June 7) but Singapore's Ashley Liew is tops in some people's books.
Early in the race, the 28-year-old suddenly found himself ahead of the other 11 competitors.
It turns out he was the only one who had made the correct turn on the path, while the rest had mistakenly taken a different route.
Liew, a doctor of chiropractic student at the Sherman College of Chiropractic in South Carolina, estimated that he was at least 50m ahead of everyone else.
Instead of taking advantage of his unexpected lead, he slowed down and wait for the rest of the pack to catch up.
His actions earned him widespread praise online.
A Facebook post by Family Health Chiropractic Clinic Singapore that highlighted Liew's sportsmanship has gone viral, with many netizens praising his sense of sportsmanship and fairplay.
The Singapore team's chef de mission, Nicholas Fang, had nothing but praise for Liew.
"He had no reason to do what he did," he said.
"The fact that he actually stopped for them, just shows that he truly embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play," he added.
Speaking to The New Paper, 28-year-old Liew said "there's no glory in taking advantage of the situation".
"It's not just about your performance but the little things that you do when you are competing that matters," he said.
"It was just my sense of sportsmanship I guess."
He eventually finished the race in eighth position with a time of 2 hr 44 mins while suffering injuries to both his hamstrings.
He had fought through the pain barrier in memory of his late mother Wong Swee Lan, who sadly, died in 2010 after a 5-year battle with colon cancer.
He told TNP in an earlier report that he pulled his right hamstring about halfway through the race.
“It was so bad I had to stop. I had a judgment call to make: Continue or stop? But mum would have wanted me to do my best, so I just kept going,” he said.
“Then at around the 2hr 30min mark, I injured my left hamstring... but I had to finish the race for my mum," he added.