London: A Russian walker who collapsed while chasing a medal at the Olympics is a true example of heroism, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee said on Sunday.
Valery Borchin, who won the gold in the men's 20 kilometre walk in Beijing four years ago, was chasing leader Chen Ding in the same event on Saturday when he collapsed one km from the finish, prompting medical staff to rush to his aid.
"Typically athletes leave the race when they run out of strength, but Valera's not one of them," Alexander Zhukov, president of the Russian Olympic Committee said.
"It's a case of sporting heroism, I think, when a person won't stop, even when their strength has already run out."
Chen went on to win the event, ahead of Guatemala's Erick Barrondo and China's Wang Zhen.
Russia's other medal contender, world record holder Vladimir Kanaykin, was disqualified for running, while the third member of the team, Andrei Krivov, finished 38th.