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HomenewsKenyan Athlete Willy Mnangat Admits to Letting Chinese Runner Overtake Him:" He's...

Kenyan Athlete Willy Mnangat Admits to Letting Chinese Runner Overtake Him:” He’s My Friend”

Kenyan marathoners China.
He Jie (fifth from left), with Willy Mnangat (second from left) and Robert Keter (third from left) during the race. Photo/Xinhua.

Chinese authorities are investigating Beijing’s half-marathon held on Sunday, April 14.

This is after a video went viral showing two Kenyan athletes and an Ethiopian appearing to slow down near the finish line to allow China’s He Jie to overtake them and win.

The athletes are Ethiopian Dejene Hailu Bikila and Kenyans Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat.

Bikila finished second with Keter and Mnangat finishing third and fourth.

According to the South China Morning Post, Mnangat admitted to letting He Jie overtake him.

“Because he is my friend. He comes to Kenya and I was (pacing for him) in the Wuxi Marathon, so he is my friend, ok,” Mnangat said.

The four marathoners ran together throughout the 21km race.

He, the holder of the Chinese marathon record, clinched the championship with a time of 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds.

Video from the race shows that in the final few hundred meters, the Chinese was  initially trailing behind while three East African athletes made gestures including looking back and waving.

The Chinese then surged ahead, ultimately securing victory with a 1-second advantage.

The scandal has made headlines in Chinese and international media.

Marathon fans say the results of the race brought into disrepute the event.