Kenyans won $100, while lower-finishing Dutch collected thousands.
According to a Dutch watchdog group, the organizers of this year’s Utrecht Marathon are guilty of racial discrimination. The group, the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission, had been requested by the organizers to look into practices that awarded $13,000 in prize money bonuses to twenty top-finishing Dutch citizens, while the race’s actual winner took home a mere $132.
“Our intention was always to stimulate national athletics, never to shut out foreign athletes,” said race organizer Louran van Keulen.
Apparently, the incentive to keep out predominately East-African runners worked. Dutch citizen Michel Butter was the first to come across the finish line in a race that had, in the past, been dominated by Kenyans.
Second-place finisher Mutai Kipkorir of Kenya collected a mere $105, while Olfert Molenhuis of Holland won $79 for coming third. However, Molenhuis also compiled another $9,900 for being the second-fastest Dutch finisher.
The watchdog commented that the organizer’s motives were “understandable” but that the way the prize money was structured leads to “discrimination”.
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