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Chinese runner’s win invites suspicion after rivals appear to step aside

Chinese runner He Jie’s recent victory in the Beijing Half Marathon is stirring up questions after a video showed his African competitors seemingly slowing down to let him win.

Chinese runner’s win invites suspicion after rivals appear to step aside

As they approached the finish line, Kenya’s Willy Mnangat and former world record-holder Robert Keter gestured for He to pass them, while Ethiopia’s Dejene Hailu hung back.

He crossed the finish line first, winning $5,500, with the African runners just a second behind. While the African athletes applauded He’s win, he seemed less excited, despite it being his first competitive half marathon victory.

Chinese runner’s win invites suspicion after rivals appear to step aside

The unusual finish sparked suspicion among Chinese internet users, with calls for an investigation into the race’s fairness. Race organizers and He’s sponsor are looking into the matter.

Some observers find the situation odd, suggesting that He, already a successful athlete, didn’t need the help to win. Regardless, He remains a promising athlete, expected to represent China in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics.

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