After a fierce two weeks at Tokyo Olympics 2020, the stage was set for one of the most anticipated events on the final day of the Games - The men's Marathon. The event had been shifted from Tokyo to Sapporo to prevent the athletes from extreme weather conditions. However, it was still going to be a very difficult race for all the participants with temperatures touching around 27 degrees.
As the Marathon kicked off, the heat showed its effect on the runners with as many as 30 athletes dropping out over the course of the whole race. Under such conditions, athletes needed to keep themselves hydrated in regular intervals which were supposed to be the most important part of the race. However, something very controversial happened at the 28km mark which caught everyone by surprise.
What happened during the race?
The race had reached 1 hr 27 min mark in Sapporo and there wasn't much separating the pack of front runners. Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the eventual race winner, and few others grabbed their water bottles from the hydration station. However, many athletes failed to get their bottles because of one participant.
As French runner Morhad Amdouni stretched his hand to snatch the bottle, he knocked off all the bottles kept in the first row before grabbing the final one. As a result, the runners behind him were left with no choice but to keep on running without getting an opportunity to hydrate themselves.
Watch the video here:
Was it intentional or accidental?
Amdouni's actions have received a mixed response from fans and experts across the globe. While some claimed that disciplinary action should be taken against the athlete for his unsportsmanlike conduct, the others opined that the incident is just being over-exaggerated considering it is quite common for bottles to fell due to the momentum of running athletes.
The 33-year-old eventually fell off the running pack after this incident and finished the race at 17th position. Keny's Eliud Kipchoge took the gold medal, becoming only the third marathon runner to defend his title in Olympics. Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands) and Bashir Abdi (Belgium) clinched silver and bronze medals, respectively, in a race that was marred by water bottle controversy.