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Minnesota runner Hassan Mead's comeback after falling is already a great Olympics story

For a long, painful moment, it looked like Hassan Mead's Olympics were all over.

For a long, painful moment, it looked like Hassan Mead's Olympics were all over.

Everything looked right. 

Minneapolis native Hassan Mead was running right off the shoulder of Mo Farah, the best distance runner in the world, on the last lap of a 5,000 meter preliminary race at the Rio Olympics. 

In a flash it was all over: Mead, face down on the track, Farah and the rest of the pack moving on toward the finish line.

"You fall, you've got one or two things you do," Mead said, according to the Star Tribune. "You can stay down, or you can get up and finish." 

Mead finished, and still toasted about half the field in his heat, but his time was nowhere near the mark needed to advance to the next round. The former University of Minnesota star appealed to race authorities, arguing he should be automatically advanced to Saturday's finals because of his trip, but that appeal was denied. At first. 

After rejecting Mead's plea, the excessively named International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) reconsidered later Wednesday, putting Mead through to the final. 

 

Farah, who fell before winning the gold medal in the 10,000 meters earlier this week, took the blame for tangling with Mead.

"I've got such a long stride... I always get tripped or tangled up with someone," the British track legend said.

Mead finished second in the U.S. Olympic trials, behind only Bernard Lagat. Lagat, a veteran racer at 41, consoled Mead immediately following their 5,000 meter race Wednesday, telling his young teammate that he might still make it into the final. Turns out the old guy was right. 

Click here to watch Mead's fall, and his cool-headed interview right after crossing the finish line.

The medal race will be run Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. central time. Watch those legs, fellas.