Beijing Half Marathon organizers are investigating an incident where three African racers intentionally allowed China's He Jie to win the marathon.

Video recordings from Sunday's race showed Kenyans Robert Keter and Willy Mnangat, Ethiopian Dejene Hailu, and home runner He approaching the finish line.


The three African runners can be seen pointing to the finish line, waving He in front, and pretending to slow down.

The 2023 Asian Games marathon gold medalist won by one second. A broadcaster reported that the four had remained together for over 21 kilometers.

"We are investigating and will announce the results to the public once they are available," said a representative from Beijing.

The Beijing Sports Competition Management and International Exchange Centre organized the event and announced that an inquiry had been initiated.

The episode attracted much attention on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with some users denouncing what they regarded as a "embarrassing" outcome.

"This will certainly be the most embarrassing championship in He Jie's career," one of them said.

The write-up stated, "With such a major organiser and such a well-known event, this really puts sportsmanship to shame."

The World Authority for Track and Field said it was "aware" of the YouTube clip and was investigating it.


"The integrity of our sport is the highest priority at World Athletics, while this investigation is ongoing we are unable to provide further comment," Director of Communications Jamie Fox told AFP.

Long-distance running has grown in popularity among China's middle class. However, there have been several reports of cheating and poor organization.

In 2018, 258 racers were caught cheating at a half-marathon in Shenzhen, southern China, with many taking shortcuts.