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Runner loses to opponent on purpose
Emily O'Keefe, ninemsn
11:00 AEST Sat Jan 19 2013

A Spanish runner has intentionally lost to an opponent because he thought it was the right thing to do.

Ivan Fernandez Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Navarra, Spain last month when his Kenyan opponent Adel Mutai - who was comfortably leading the race – suddenly pulled up short, Spain's El Pais newspaper reports.

VIDEO: The most extraordinary acts of sportsmanship

Video of the event shows Mutai slowing down at the critical moment, believing he has already crossed the finish line.

Fernandez Anaya quickly catches up with Mutai but instead of passing him to snatch victory he slows down and frantically gestures to his rival to keep on running.

"I didn't deserve to win it, I did what I had to do," Anaya told El Pais.

"He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn't have closed if he hadn't made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn't going to pass him."

Anaya wrote on his blog that his actions appeared to have won his some new fans, with 500 Facebook friend requests coming in since the incident.

But Anaya's coach Martin Fiz was not so impressed with him, saying that while such honesty was a rare thing, he would have gone in for the kill.

"It was a very good gesture of honesty," Fiz said.

"A gesture that I myself wouldn't have made. I certainly would have taken advantage of it to win."