Last place runner gets greeted like a king at Games

ATLANTA (AP) — No last-place finisher in a marathon ever has been greeted more royally. And no one likely has finished quite so last.
The band played a fanfare as A. Baser Wasiqi of Afghanistan entered Olympic Stadium nearly four hours after he began the event Sunday morning.
He finished 111th out of the 111 who completed the race. No. 110 was about an hour ahead of him.
“He walked quite a bit of the way, but he did jog across the finish line,” said Jennifer Jordan, communications coordinator for the marathon venue.
The stadium was closed long before Wasiqi finished as crews prepared for Sunday night’s closing ceremony. But marathon volunteers were adamant that Wasiqi would get to finish in the stadium and officials agreed to let Wasiqi in.
“They had rolled some matting on the tunnel and they had to pull that up,” Jordan said, “and there was a tarp that had been laid over the track and that had to be pulled up.”
One of the sector coordinators ran to the band, which was practicing for the closing ceremony, and asked them to play something.
Two other workers ripped some tape off the finish line and held it so Wasiqi could break it as he ran through.
“It was one of the neatest experiences we’ve had,” Jordan said, “because this is what the Olympics is all about — the spirit of competition.”
Jordan had no idea what Wasaqi thought of it all. By the time he finished, there was no one around who spoke his language.