After a Usain Bolt-style pre-race build-up complete with a cheeky look at the cameras as he pointed at his watch, Haitian athlete Jeffrey Julmis quickly came crashing straight down to earth.
Competing in the semifinals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles, the 28-year-old took a nasty tumble as he ran through the first hurdle.
Traveling at high speed, Julmis ended up doing a somersault, landing close to the second hurdle.
Apart from probably wishing the ground would swallow him up, Julmis could also have been forgiven if he had thrown in the towel after what must surely have been an embarrassing moment for a capable runner competing in his second Olympics.
But, in true Olympic spirit, he got up again to finish the race to huge cheers from the crowd.
“It didn’t make sense to go down as a sore loser,” Julmis, who grew up in Florida, told reporters after he finished in a time of 25.56 seconds, 13 seconds behind race winner Orlando Ortega of Spain.
Although Julmis was disqualified, he can take some consolation from improving on his record in London, when he failed to get out of the heats.
“The Olympic spirit –finish the race,” said Julmis, a former member of the track and field team of Kansas State University. “It felt good the crowd cheering me on. But I would’ve loved to have made it to the final.”
Unsurprisingly Julmis’s Rio 2016 moment didn’t go unnoticed on social media, with one Twitter user joking the Haitian “wanna be Shaunae Miller,” a reference to the Bahamas-born athlete’s unconventional approach to winning the 400m final.