Beijing Half Marathon uproar: Kenyan says he let Chinese He Jie win race 'because he's my friend'

Mnangat appeared looking at him, pointing to the finish line, waving to him, and urging him to move forward. The trio passed by and made no effort to respond.

Asked by The Washington Post whether he had allowed him to win, Mnangat said, “Yes.”

“He came to Kenya and so did I [pacing for him] “At the Wuxi Marathon, he’s my friend, okay,” Manangat said.

Six hours later, Manangat changed his story, saying it was a pacemaker. However, his vest was the same and he did not say “speed”, as is commonly believed.

Hee Gee (5th from left), with Willie Mnangat (2nd from left) and Robert Keeter (3rd from left). Photo: Xinhua

The organiser, the Beijing Center for the Administration of Sports Competitions and International Exchange, said an investigation had been opened, while the International Federation said integrity was of paramount importance.

The IAAF said: “We are aware of the video circulating online from the Beijing Half Marathon, and understand that the relevant local authorities are currently conducting an investigation.”

“The integrity of our sport is the highest priority in world athletics. While this investigation is ongoing, we cannot provide further comment.

Chinese sports expert Mark Dreyer said, “This simply does not happen at the elite level.”

“It is one thing to cross the border together, hand in hand, in a show of sportsmanship, but that is not what happened here, as the African trio clearly allowed HJ to win,” Dreyer said.

“He doesn't need this charity. He's making fun of the competition and undermining his own past achievements.

On Chinese and Western social media, many said the race had been brought into disrepute.

See also  Ariane Books criticizes the report, denies any feud with Brady

“I've been running marathons for several years, but I've never seen anything like this,” one Weibo user commented, while others called for the results of the four runners to be annulled.

Another said: “I thought football was dirty, but it turns out the whole sports world is dirty.”

“This will undoubtedly become the most embarrassing tournament of Hee Ji's career,” one post read.

Karen Lin, the Chinese agent representing Mnangat, declined to answer questions about the race.

“[It is] “It is very common for professional African runners to compete in top regional races across China – but it is very unusual for them to let a Chinese runner win so clearly,” Dreyer said in X.

“[The] “The most obvious explanation here is that the race fees for the Africans were guaranteed and/or a bonus was offered to allow the local runner to win,” he added.

“Otherwise, compete for the prize [money] It could be a tough matchup between them on the Chinese circuit, where there is hardly enough to pay for them.

Mnangat said no one asked him to let him win, and he did not receive a financial reward for it.

“I've never run a half marathon before, so this time I wanted to set a personal best,” he told Chinese state media.

“I had just finished the Wuxi Marathon not long ago, so I wasn't at my competitive best. If I had been in the same condition I was during the Wuxi Marathon, I think my performance would have been better.

His time of 2:06:57 in Wuxi last month was a national record.

See also  2023 NFL Draft: Lions' Sam LaPorta was a top 2 TE on the Bengals plate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *