Beijing Half Marathon Under Investigation for Alleged Foul Play

Beijing Half Marathon Under Investigation for Alleged Foul Play

Beijing's half marathon organizers are investigating allegations of foul play after footage emerged online suggesting that three African runners deliberately allowed China's He Jie to win.

The video clips show Kenyans Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, Dejene Hailu of Ethiopia, and He approaching the finish line. The African runners appear to point to the finish line and wave He out in front, while slowing down. He, the 2023 Asian Games marathon gold medalist, won by one second.

The incident has sparked outrage on Chinese social media, with many users criticizing the result as "embarrassing." The Beijing Sports Bureau and the event organizer have launched investigations.

World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, has also acknowledged the footage and the investigation. "The integrity of our sport is the highest priority at World Athletics," said Director of Communications Jamie Fox.

Long-distance running has gained popularity in China in recent years, but it has also been plagued by cheating and poor organization. In 2018, 258 runners were caught cheating in a half-marathon in Shenzhen, including many who took shortcuts. In 2019, a woman was filmed riding a rental bike in the Xuzhou International Marathon.

The Beijing half marathon incident has raised concerns about the integrity of the sport in China. It remains to be seen whether the investigation will uncover any wrongdoing and what consequences, if any, will follow.

Tags: #BeijingHalfMarathon, #FoulPlay, #HeJie, #AfricanRunners, #WorldAthletics

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