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Pek, Norbert

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NRC next - Netherlands | 18/04/2011

Utrecht discriminates against fast Kenyans

The organisers of the marathon in Utrecht on April 25 want to discourage Kenyan runners from coming by lowering the prize money. If a Kenyan wins he will receive 100 euros, while a Dutch victor will take home 10,000 euros. This is a distortion of competition, writes the daily "Will Dutch speed skaters now be forbidden from competing abroad? Must the Swiss stay away from international ski competitions to give the Arabs a chance? Every country has its national sports - the ones that are popular with a comparatively high proportion of its population. A lot of money and attention is invested in training, and the nation is thrilled when the sport is aired on TV. That's how the Dutch - a small nation - reached the finals of the Fifa World Cup. And that's how the Kenyans win marathons. This must be supported, and not penalised. ... No one's going to love an athlete who wins just because the rules were changed."

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