The organizers of the Warsaw Marathon are under fire after officials failed to help Kenyan Recho Kosgei after she collapsed 800 meters from the finish line.
Kosgei had nearly a three minute lead on the next competitor as she made her way towards the marathon finish. With only a half mile to go, she suddenly veered towards the side of the road and fell. Kosgei spent over two minutes struggling to stand up without any race officials, spectators or runners coming to her aid. Finally a runner in the men’s race, Marek Hladik of Slovakia, attempted to lift her off the road.
While Hladik attempted to help Kosgei, Ethiopian Bekelu Beji passed both of them, winning the race in 2:35:08. Kosgei received treatment by medical personnel for dehydration and did not complete the marathon. Hladik went on to finish 10th in the men’s race.
Many have taken to social media to criticize the marathon’s failure to help. Fellow Kenyan and 2012 Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir tweeted that, “Although it’s illegal for race official to help a runner I think there comes a time when logic takes over.”
— Hon wesley korir (@weskorir) September 25, 2017
Journalist Saddique Shaban said that leaving Kosgei to struggle was “unacceptable negligence on the part of the organizers.” He continued that “Cases of athletes dying in road races, mostly amateurs, have been on a rise. But this was no amateur athlete.”
This video need to go viral. Unacceptable negligence on the part of the organizers. https://t.co/N1BjhYflz5
— Saddique Shaban (@SaddiqueShaban) September 25, 2017
The Warsaw Marathon has yet to release a statement regarding the incident.