Kenyan Runners Disqualified In Beijing Half Marathon Controversy

Two Kenyan athletes, Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, have been disqualified from the 2024 Beijing Half Marathon following a race-fixing scandal. Video evidence captured them, along with an Ethiopian runner, Dejene Hailu, slowing down and seemingly urging Chinese runner He Jie to win the race.

Confusion Over Pacing Roles

An investigation was launched after confusion arose regarding the runners’ roles. Organizers initially claimed they were pacesetters, yet they were awarded prize money typically reserved for competitors.

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Caught on Camera

Video clearly showed Keter, Mnangat, and Hailu slowing their pace and gesturing towards the finish line, allowing He Jie to overtake them. This sparked outrage and accusations of race-fixing.

Chinese Athletics Association Vows Action

The Chinese Athletics Association acknowledged the controversy and pledged to prevent such incidents from happening again. They highlighted the need for improved organization and management of running events in China.

Kenyan Athletes Deny Wrongdoing

Keter and Mnangat have denied any wrongdoing, claiming they were contracted to assist He Jie in winning the race. However, the specifics of this alleged agreement remain unclear.