IOC Refugee Olympic Team runner James Chiengjiek out after heartbreaking fall 

Competing in his second Olympic Games, the 800m runner won praise on social media after getting up to complete his heat.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

There was devastation for IOC Refugee Olympic Team runner James Nyang Chiengjiek, who finished last in his men's 800m heat after an early fall.

Just after the start of the race, the South Sudanese refugee accidentally clipped another athlete's foot and tumbled to the ground.

But Chiengjiek showed the spirit of a champion to get back up and finish the race.

It was a heartbreaking outcome for the athlete who was also part of the first refugee team at Rio 2016.

His bravery and tenacity to pick himself up received plenty of praise on social media.

READ: Meet James Nyang Chiengjiek IOC Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holder

Competing for a better life

Born in present-day South Sudan, Chiengjiek escaped the Sudanese Civil War some years after his father died in the conflict in 1999.

He arrived in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where he went to school and started running, having joined some older boys who were training for long-distance events.

He was supported by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at first, then began training with the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation in 2013.

After racing at Rio 2016, the 29-year-old has gone on to represent World Athletics' Athlete Refugee Team (ART) as well.

In 2019, he competed for ART at the IAAF World Relays alongside Tokyo IOC Refugee Olympic teammate Rose Nathike, the pair finishing seventh in the mixed 2x2x400m relay event.