The Belarus athlete took victory in the men’s 74kg category in sambo at the European Games in Baku, but it was his post-fight gesture that stole the attention.
An excruciating exchange unfolded at the end of the bout, with Papou and home favourite Amil Gasimov locked in a painful grapple.
Baku 2015 European Games
Albanian boxer suspended for anti-doping breach
Papou eventually forced Gasimov to tap out, ending the fight, but only after he had inflicted serious damage to his opponent’s foot.
Gasimov struggled to hop out of the arena, with Papou winning back the partisan crowd by lifting the Azerbaijan athlete onto his shoulders and towards the medical bay.
The fine gesture occurs at 6:44 in the above clip, but scroll to 5:06 if you fancy watching the rather intense ending to the fight.
Stsiapan Papou of Belarus (R) and Amil Gasimov of Azerbaijan fight during their men's 74kg Sambo gold medal bout
Image credit: Reuters
Legends live on – Derartu Tulu and the 10,000m final for all of Africa
Legends Live On - Episode 3: Three-time Olympic judo champion Nomura Tadahiro