Japanese runner finishes race by crawling with broken leg | Inquirer Sports

Japanese runner finishes race by crawling with broken leg

/ 04:26 PM November 12, 2018

runner, Japanese runner

Image: Screengrab via Weibo/wuyeparty

One Japanese runner who finished a section of a race on all fours has gained praise for her feat.

Last Oct. 21, 19-year-old Rei Iida joined a long-distance relay race called “Ekiden” held in Fukuoka prefecture, as per an NHK World report on Oct. 23.


When Iida tripped, she injured her right leg during the relay. Unable to use her leg, she went down on her hands and knees to reach the end of the remaining 200 meters where her teammate waited for the sash. Her teammate appeared to be in tears at the sight of Iida slowly making her way towards her. 


As Iida’s knees were scraped and bloody from crawling on the roadside, officials were heard cheering her on, reported Apple Daily via The Straits Times on Oct. 23.

A video of the race shared by Kevin Williams (@kwilli1046) on Nov. 11 has gone viral on Twitter, garnering 4.5 million views as of writing.

Many of the comments found it inspiring that Iida chose to continue the race.

“My heart goes out for her. She is [the] true definition of a champion,” said Kirston J Pittman (@KingKofROM).

“The lesson here: It’s not always about winning, it’s about finishing the race with honor,” said NancyB (@villyforever55).


After the race, Iida was found to have fractured her right leg and will take up to four months to recover.

Her team Iwatani Sangyo was not pleased with the outcome. Her team coach had informed officials that they would withdraw from the race, though Iida was only told when she was 20 meters from the end of her section. The team lamented the organizers’ lack of action. 

Organizers said Iida could not be stopped because of her will to continue the race. They also promised to examine how to improve communications in such situations. Niña V. Guno/JB


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TAGS: Broken Leg, Injury, Japan, relay race, Running

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