In an unexpected turn of events, a Chinese Wuxi International Marathon runner in third place became a first-place finisher after the first two athletes ran to the wrong finish line.
Video from the annual marathon shows the two leading runners from Ethiopia, Gardisa Birhanu Shumie and Chala Lelisa Debele, missing a turn in the final 100 meters after more than 2 hours into the 26-mile race and jogging off-screen, putting their arms and head out thinking that they’ve won.
Check out the 43-second clip posted to Youtube by state media CGTN:
The duo was alerted by spectators and course marshals on the sidelines.
But before they could get back on track to the correct finish line, the runner in third place, Khalid Kamal Khalid Yaseen from Bahrain, had already sprinted his way to first place.
Yaseen won the race with a time of 2:13.13, followed by Shumie who ran in the right direction and crossed the finish line in 2:13.14, the Daily Mail reported.
The Bahrain runner received a cash prize of 40,000 yuan ($5,808).
People make mistakes and the pair of runners shouldn’t let this get them down. Shanghaiist noted that at least they won against these folks:
The race has gone viral on Chinese social media, with on user noting that “they committed the mistake at the final stage. It’s so sad!”
“It’s better to let them race on a straight path,” another said.
“Probably they missed the race signs in heavy smog,” one user joked.
The Wuxi marathon organizers have denied criticism that the course wasn’t up to standard.