If you’re going to fall during a big race at the World Championships, you may as well fall in style.

Panama’s Rolanda Bell was cruising along at a comfortable pace in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase – that was, until she tumbled over a hurdle.

Bell fell in spectacular fashion, landing head first into the water and causing quite a splash.

A combination of images shows Rolanda Bell of Panama falling head first into the water obstacle during the women's 3000 metres steeplechase heats at the 15th IAAF World Championships in the National Stadium in Beijing

Huge credit has to go to the athlete, who courageously recovered to finish the heat, but sadly she came in 20 seconds behind the next slowest athlete so could not qualify for the final.

Bell, who lives in New York, tweeted her gratitude for the support of the fans after the race.

“Thanks to Panama for all the support of our team this year. We will encourage and Yvette Alonso together in their skills here in Beijing!” her tweet was translated as saying.

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Dan Quarrell