Africa-Press – Kenya. A Kenyan marathoner astounded the sports world after he was declared the ultimate winner of the Vienna Marathon in Europe held on Sunday, September 12, despite coming in second place.
This is after Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa was disqualified for wearing the wrong shoes even after coming in first place.
The 24-year-old Ethiopian ace crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours 9 minutes and 22 seconds but was later informed that the soles of his shoes were one centimeter thicker than the maximum four centimeters allowed.
Reports indicated that Hurisa had registered another shoe that had complied with the set standards but changed to the current shoes in order to run the marathon.
Having violated the rules, the crown was awarded to Kenyan marathoner, Leonard Lang’at, who clocked in at 2 hours 9 minutes, and 25 seconds.
“Of course, I would have preferred to have broken the tape. I had no clue about the disqualification until they told me. It was of course my aim to win and I thank God that in the end I did,” Lang’at stated after the race.
Race coordinator, Johannes Langer, affirmed that the rules had to be followed in such prestigious events hence they did not have a choice but to disqualify the athlete.
“I can’t say at the moment why he didn’t run in the shoes that were specified in the form,” Langer stated.
“It’s the first time something like this has happened. I’m pretty sure that from now on there will be some form of checks to avoid something like this to happen again in a major race.”
Other athletes who flew the Kenyan flag high include Edwin Kosgei, who emerged third at the marathon, while debutant Vibian Chepkirui scooped first place in the women’s race.
Kenyan athletes are hailed as world champions due to their prowess and outstanding performances at the events. This has seen the greats capture the world’s attention by scooping countless gold medals.