[VIDEO] Beijing Half Marathon Investigates "Extremely Odd" Win By Chinese Runner

"He doesn't need this charity. It makes a mockery of the competition," commented a sports reporter.

Cover image via Weibo/SCMP & @whyyoutouzhele (X)

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Beijing Half Marathon organisers said they are investigating after footage online appeared to show three African runners deliberately slowing down to allow China's He Jie to win

According to Reuters, He Jie won with a time of 1:03:44, a second ahead of Ethiopian runner Dejene Hailu Bikila, and Kenyans Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, who all tied for second place.

The widely-circulated video clips show the three African runners allegedly waving He Jie, who was slightly behind them, in front while gesturing towards the finish line.

A broadcaster had noted that the four had run together for the entire 21km race.

The incident has caused uproar as He Jie is a member of China's marathon team and is a national marathon record holder.

The African runners appear to let China's He Jie win the Beijing Half Marathon on Sunday, 14 April.

Image via Weibo/SCMP

Many have criticised the issue on Chinese social media, with netizens calling the result "embarrassing"

"This will certainly be the most embarrassing championship in He Jie's career," wrote a user on Weibo.

"I have run marathons for several years, but I have never seen anything like this," said another.

Meanwhile, China Sports Insider's correspondent Mark Dreyer commented that the incident was "extremely odd".

"It's one thing to cross the line together, hand in hand, in a show of sportsmanship, but that's not what happened here, where the African trio clearly let He Jie win.

"He doesn't need this charity. It makes a mockery of the competition and it undermines his previous achievements," he told SCMP.

A screenshot from the widely circulated video of the incident at the Beijing Half Marathon.

Image via @whyyoutouzhele (X)

The Beijing Sports Bureau and the event organiser have both said investigations are underway

"We are investigating and will announce the results to the public once they are available," a person from the Beijing Sports Bureau told AFP.

AFP reported that distance running has become increasingly popular in China, but races have been marred by numerous instances of cheating and poor organisation.

In 2018, 258 participants were caught cheating in a half marathon in Shenzhen. Some had taken shortcuts while others wore fake bibs.

Watch the viral incident here:

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