It was a moment of the Tokyo Olympics just made for television. But the clip raising eyebrows on Tuesday wasn’t Simone Biles capturing a medal on her return to the gymnastics arena, or Novak Djokovic throwing a tantrum on the tennis court when his own dream of gold turned sour.
Instead, it was a six-legged runner.
The new star of the games is a tiny cockroach, the insect given its moment of glory by an apparently bored Japanese camera operator during the final minutes of a women’s field hockey match.
With Spain trailing Argentina 1-0 and pressing hard for an equalizer in the closing stages, the video cut, bizarrely, to close-up images of the cockroach making its way along a ledge at the side of the stadium, Insider reported.
Its appearance on live television was fleeting, lasting barely a few seconds, but was seized on by the commentator of the game and by media.
The bemused announcer referenced the “visitor on the sidelines scurrying along”, and linked seamlessly back to the game with the comment: “Argentina [also] trying to scurry this game along.”
On Twitter, observers were amused. One user was adamant “that roach did not need that much screen time”.
Naturally, it soon got its own Twitter handle.
After the insect’s golden moment, the end of the game went almost unnoticed, Argentina scoring twice more to round out a 3-0 victory.
The cockroach, however, was not the only insect to garner attention in a live sporting event this week. In Washington DC, Victor Robles of the Nationals baseball team was captured by cameras taking to the field on Monday with a praying mantis on his cap.