A French marathon runner is defending his actions after he appeared to purposely knock over a row of water bottles at a rehydration station during the men's marathon at the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Morhad Amdouni said the bottles were too "slippery" for him to pick up, which led to knocking over every bottle at the station before grabbing the last one for himself during the race.
Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the race, but all the attention was on Amdouni -- who placed 17th, six minutes behind Kipchoge -- for his apparent unsportsmanlike behavior.
“To put an end to all the sterile polemics in the video, I put this video to actually understand what happened," Armdouni posted in French on his verified Facebook account along with a link to a YouTube video of the incident. "To guarantee freshness to the bottles, these are soaked in water. Which makes them slippery. However, it is clear that I am trying to get one from the beginning of the row but these barely slide we touch them."
Eurosport reports the marathon took place in temperatures reaching 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and numerous competitors dropped out prior to reaching the finish line.
Kipchoge, 36, finished a full 80 seconds ahead of all other competitors with a time of 2:08:38, becoming the third man in Olympic history to win consecutive marathon titles.