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‘Kipchang’ challenging Kipchoge? Photo of Chinese runner who ‘wants to beat’ Kenyan marathon champ photoshopped

Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge on 12 October 2019 became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours – precisely one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds.

Now a post shared on a Kenyan Facebook group page claims a Chinese athlete named “Kipchang” is aiming to beat Kipchoge’s pioneering record.

It shows a photo of a runner in a red shirt with “Kipchang” on the front, the Kenyan flag near the shoulder. Above the name are the words  “London 2012”, and below the five rings of the Olympic logo.

The caption reads: “Kipchang, the fastest Chinese marathoner from Goshen region in China wants to beat Eliud Kipchoge record by doing 1:58. Wish him well.”

Is this really “Kipchang”, Goshen’s fastest Chinese marathoner and Kipchoge’s challenger? We checked.

Wang Jiali, not ‘Kipchang’

But there’s no “Goshen” region of China, as a search of Google maps and other publicly available maps maintained by the US Central Intelligence Agency and Unicef reveal. There is a city called Goshen in Indiana, US.

A reverse image search on Tineye shows that the photo first surfaced online on 17 February 2013 on Wikipedia and Wikimedia.

The photo’s file history shows it was taken on 25 August 2012 at 9:26 by an author only identified as Miho.

The photo shows Wang Jiali from China in the women's marathon at the Olympic games of 2012.

Facebook photo manipulated

The original photo indicates that the photo of the marathoner shared on Facebook was photoshopped.

In the original, the red shirt bears the name J Wang, not Kipchang. And it carries the flag of China, not Kenya. – Grace Gichuhi


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