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Beijing half marathon under investigation after bizarre finish leads to 'embarrassing' result

Beijing half marathon under investigation after bizarre finish leads to 'embarrassing' result

The race is under investigation after a controversial ending.

Organisers of the Beijing Half Marathon have launched an investigation after a bizarre incident led to an 'embarrassing' finish to the race.

China's He Jie won the Beijing Half Marathon on Sunday, finishing one second ahead of Ethiopia's Dejene Hailu and Kenyan runners Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, who tied in second place.

He - who won gold in the marathon at the 2023 Asian Games and is China's marathon record holder - officially completed the the 13.1 mile course in 01:03:44.

However, footage of the final moments of the race have coursed quite a stir in the world of Athletics and on Chinese social media.

As He, Hailu, Keter and Mnangat approached the finish line, the three African competitors appeared to deliberately allow the Chinese runner to win the race.

Footage shows the three African men pointing to the finish line before they appear to slow down and He overtakes them.

The three men looked more than capable of beating He to the ribbon, but they stayed together and before congratulating him at the finish line.

A spokesperson for the Beijing Sports Bureau told AFP: "We are investigating and will announce the results to the public once they are available."

Event organiser the Beijing Sports Competition Management and International Exchange Center confirmed that an investigation had been launched.

World Athletics - the international body of track and field events - is also investigating the incident.

"The integrity of our sport is the highest priority at World Athletics, while this investigation is ongoing we are unable to provide further comment," Director of Communications Jamie Fox told AFP, via Yahoo News.

The runners were heavily criticised by users of the Chinese social media site Weibo.

"This will certainly be the most embarrassing championship in He Jie's career," one user wrote, while another commented: "With such a major organiser and such a well-known event, this really pushes sportsmanship to the ground in shame."

According to World Athletics, Mnangat is represented by a Chinese agent Karen Lin. Lin represents 32 runners, most of whom are Kenyan.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Athletics, Olympics