Thursday, May 23, 2024

Chinese runner stripped of Beijing marathon win after video shows rivals let him take first place

HomeTop NewsChinese runner stripped of Beijing marathon win after video shows rivals let...

The Beijing Half Marathon was rocked by controversy this week as the original winner, Chinese long-distance runner He Jie, was stripped of his first-place medal. Race organizers made the decision after an investigation revealed that three elite African runners had purposely slowed down to let He take the victory.

The scandalous incident came to light when video footage from the final moments of the race went viral online. The clips showed He trailing behind Kenyan runners Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, as well as Ethiopian Dejene Hailu, in the closing stages. However, the African trio appeared to ease off the pace, allowing the Chinese athlete to surge ahead and cross the finish line first.

>>Related  Russia Vows Intensified Bombing Campaign to Destroy Western Weapons Flowing to Ukraine

According to Willy Mnangat in an interview with BBC Sport Africa, the group of African runners had been serving merely as pacemakers for He Jie – controversial hired help brought in by one of the race sponsors. Their role was not to compete for the win, but to set the pace early on before letting the favored Chinese star take over.

“We had not been running competitively, but rather as pacemakers for He,” Mnangat explained, shedding light on the unethical agreement that had been struck behind the scenes.

Race organizers were apparently unaware that a sponsor had made this underhanded deal with four foreign athletes to act as professional pacemakers, rather than legitimate competitors. One of the four pacemakers had dropped out before the end.

>>Related  Russian Fighter Jet Crashes Into Black Sea Near Crimea Amid Ukraine War

In a statement, organizers said, “We deeply and sincerely apologize that we did not discover and correct the mistakes in time at this race.” Their investigation confirmed the footage showed clear misconduct, with the results tainted by the hired pacemaker arrangement.

As a result, He Jie and the three African runners were all disqualified and forced to return their medals and prize money. The race’s main organizer, Zhong’ao Lupao Sports Management Co, also had its rights to host the event revoked as punishment.

The scandal is a major blot on He’s otherwise impressive career as one of China’s elite marathon runners. Just last year, he won gold in the Asian Games men’s marathon and set a new Chinese national record of 2:06:47 at the Wuxi Marathon.

>>Related  Gaza Hospital Carnage Kills Hundreds As Israel and Hamas Trade Blame And Rage Spreads

However, his disgraced Beijing Half Marathon “victory” in 1:03:44 will now be erased from the records due to the crooked pacemaking scheme that enabled it. The incident has dealt a blow to the integrity of the event and road racing in China.

Sports fans globally are left feeling cheated by the underhanded tactics employed to ensure a Chinese winner – a recurring accusation faced by many major athletic events hosted in the country. Restoring trust in the fairness of competitions held in China will be an immense challenge moving forward.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

Latest Post

Related Posts