The Tokyo edition of the men’s marathon may have illustrated the level of desperation some Olympic athletes will go to in order to get an edge on their competitors.

While the event concluded with the continuation of the legendary success of Eliud Kipchoge, television footagecaptured French runner Morhad Amdouni appearing to thwart any chance of fellow runners receiving a precious dose of water by knocking over much of the available supply at a rehydration station.

With temperatures approaching 30 degrees and humidity levels at over 80 per cent, over a quarter of the men’s marathon field were forced to retire from the race.

As such, the hydration levels of each athlete were crucial to their chances of performing at their peak.

That’s why Amdouni’s apparent disregard for his fellow athletes at a drinks station 28 kilometres into the race came across as a cruel sabotage.

However, it could also be that his levels of fatigue at that stage of the race meant he found it hard to pick one of the water bottles up and the domino-effect he created was pure accident.

Former Olympic long jumper Dave Culbert wasn’t completely sold that it was an accident and said he’d “let the audience be the judge as to whether that’s been done deliberately.”

“What did you make of that? It’s hard to grab as you are walking along and running at pace.”

Tamsyn Manou came in to bat for the French athlete.

“I think it is pretty hard to grab those drinks. But it’s not helpful to the athletes behind him,” she said.

Bruce McAvaney didn’t seem convinced it was an accident.

“Well, he got one at the end,” he said.

“Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt,” Manou added.

“The poor Japanese athletes and the ones coming in behind, it makes it harder to grab the next drink if there’s any left.”

Indeed, just minutes after the incident, Amdouni began to lose pace with Kipchoge and the leading pack and eventually finished in 17th place, almost six minutes behind the gold-medal winner.

Depending on which way you look at it, it was karma for some, commiserations for others.

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