French marathon runner sparks sportsmanship row by knocking over water bottles – then running off with last one

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: French marathon runner Morhad Amdouni knocks over entire row of water bottles - then runs off with last one

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: French marathon runner Morhad Amdouni knocks over entire row of water bottles – then runs off with last one

A French athlete has sparked outrage by appearing to deliberately knock over a row of water bottles during the men’s marathon.

Morhad Amdouni, who grabbed the only remaining bottle for himself, finished 14th in the 26-mile event which was won by Eliud Kipchoge, who successfully defended his title from Rio.

But Amdouni’s actions sparked immediate criticism from viewers, with Australian long-distance runner Ben St Lawrence tweeting: «Thoughts on Amdouni knocking over an entire row of water before taking the last one?»

Piers Morgan, meanwhile, attacked Amdouni as the «biggest d—— of the Olympics», but other people jumped in to defend the Frenchman – saying it was accidental, and there was another water station slightly further up the road where his competitors could have grabbed a drink anyway.

Kipchoge obliterated his rivals in brutally hot conditions to triumph in two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds. A number of leading athletes struggled – 31 of the 105 starters failed to finish – and there were dramatic scenes of some collapsing on course, but Kipchoge was a picture of serenity throughout.

Abdi Nageeye, of the Netherlands, claimed a distant silver in 2hr 9min 58sec, with Belgium’s Bashir Abdi taking bronze. Hampered by niggling injuries in the build-up,

Britain’s Callum Hawkins – who has finished fourth at the last two World Championships – dropped out soon after halfway. Chris Thompson finished 54th, while Ben Connors also failed to finish.