Kenyan runner explains decision to let Chinese man win in Beijing marathon

According to Willy Mnangat, one of the Kenyan road race runners involved in a controversial race over the weekend, they were contracted to do pace-setting duties for the Chinese runner, He Jie. Mnangat dismissed claims of race fixing and stated that it was not a competitive race for him, and he and two other East African athletes were meant to pace for Jie at the 2024 Beijing Half Marathon. He Jie won the title with a time of 1:03.44, missing the Chinese half marathon national record by 71 seconds.

Mnangat, who has a lifetime best of 1:03.29, initially allowed Jie to clinch the title, claiming he is his friend. World Athletics has responded to the viral clip stating that they will wait for the investigations to be completed before providing further comments. The organization mentioned that the matter is being looked into by the marathon organizers and relevant local authorities, emphasizing the highest priority of the integrity of the sport.

The South China Morning Post quoted Mnangat, but he is the only athlete who has spoken publicly about the incident so far. The statement from World Athletics underlines the ongoing investigation and the inability to provide further comment at this time.

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