Umaga receives international fair play award

WELLINGTON: All Blacks rugby captain Tana Umaga has received an international fair play award for assisting an injured opponent, New Zealand rugby officials said yesterday. 

Umaga received the Pierre Coubertin Trophy, presented by the International Committee of Fair Play, for aiding Welsh captain Colin Charvis, who was knocked unconscious in a Test match in June 2003. The award was presented in Athens, Greece, on Tuesday. 

Previous winners of the award include tennis players Arthur Ashe and Martina Navratilova, soccer's Bobby Charlton, pole vaulter Sergei Bubka and former South African president Nelson Mandela. 

Umaga was recognised for rushing to Charvis' assistance after he was knocked unconscious in a tackle during the Test match at Hamilton, New Zealand. While play continued, Umaga removed Charvis' mouthguard, ensured he did not swallow his tongue and placed him in the recovery position. 

The All Blacks captain had previously been acknowledged by the Welsh Rugby Union who presented him with a special award during the World Cup in Australia last year. 

“I'm humbled and it is a great honour to receive this award,'' Umaga said in a statement. – AP 

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