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Beijing Half marathon ‘fixing’ sucks 3 African athletes

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beijing half marathon
Beijing Olympics. Photo/BBC
  • Three African athletes are facing a probe over their actions at the Beijing Half Marathon
  • Chinese athlete, He Jie, questionably won but his victory has since been overturned
  • Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu and Kenya’s Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat are being probed

Three African athletes are facing a probe over their actions at the Beijing Half Marathon held on Sunday where a Chinese athlete, He Jie, questionably won.

The marathon’s officials have since revoked Jie’s victory and even stripped him of his gold medal. Further, the same was extended to the second and third winners of the race.

What Happened at Beijing Half Marathon?

Allegations surfaced that Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu and Kenya’s Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat purposefully permitted China’s Jie, to win the marathon held in Beijing.

External footage showed the three marathoners gesturing to the line and slowing down for Jie to make the dash and win. However, Mnangat insists that they did nothing wrong because they only ran as pacemakers.

beijing half marathon

Chinese athlete He Jie who won controversially won the Beijing Half Marathon. Photo/Newsweek

However, the Beijing Half Marathon organizing committee now probing the incident claimed the trio violated regulations because they are not registered as pacemakers.

“All trophies, medals, and bonuses will be recovered,” the commission declared.

State-owned broadcaster CCTV reported that all four athletes were penalized and their results cancelled besides the medals being withdrawn.

The Chinese Athletics Association while commenting on this incident said that it will work on streamlining the organisation of road running events in China.

“In general, the overall operation of road running events has been smooth. But problems in the organisation and management of the events have also been exposed, which has aroused widespread concern, the Chinese Athletics Association said in a statement.

Jie holds the national record for the complete Beijing Marathon. He also won a gold medal in the marathon at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Beijing Half Marathon Prize Money

The organizers of the Beijing Half Marathon had earlier announced a significant increase in prize money for the race. The total prize pool stood at ¥1.5 million ($220,000 USD), making it one of the most lucrative half-marathons in Asia.

This substantial increase aimed to attract a stronger field of elite athletes, both domestically and internationally. The top three finishers in both the men’s and women’s categories got a boost in their potential earnings.

Winners took home ¥300,000 ($44,000), with ¥200,000 ($29,000) and ¥100,000 ($14,500).

“We are thrilled to be able to offer such a competitive prize purse,” said a spokesperson for the Beijing Half Marathon. “We believe this will elevate the race to a new level and attract some of the world’s best half marathoners.”

The Beijing Half Marathon is becoming more and more popular, which is reflected in the growth in prize money. Fall races are held yearly, and participation has been steadily increasing in recent years.

The large reward, according to the organizers, should draw in more runners and raise awareness of the event around the globe.

Beijing Half Marathon Route

beijing half marathon

Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Photo/Global Times

The Beijing Half Marathon features an attractive course that highlights the city’s varied landscapes and cultural sites. Here is a summary of its approximately 21-kilometer voyage.

Leaving the famous Tiananmen Square, runners take in the historical significance before navigating East Chang’an Avenue’s busy streets.

With its twists and turns along the East and North Second Ring Roads, the route provides views of Beijing’s contemporary architecture. After that, it explores Andingmen Outer Street and Anding Road, offering a more intimate look at the neighbourhood.

After crossing Beichen Road, Hujing East Road, and Olympic Sports Middle Road, the race enters a more vegetated section. Running enthusiasts can take a break from the cityscape here.

There is a small challenge with Datun North Road and Tianchen East Road because of height fluctuations. But the breathtaking sights make the effort worthwhile.

Lastly, the National Stadium North Road, which leads runners to the Olympic Center Area Landscape Avenue, the official finishing site, is a part of the last leg.

After navigating the downtown streets, participants are met with enthusiastic spectators and a sense of success here.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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