Fact Check: London Marathon Water Incident Misrepresented

Sat May 11 2024
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LONDON: Footage of individuals taking water bottles from the side of a road during the 2016 London Marathon has been misrepresented online as occurring in 2024.

A Facebook post, dated April 25, four days following the 2024 race in the UK’s capital, mislabelled the video, suggesting, “Water for London marathon runners Sunday. Stolen by usual suspects. But they don’t show that on BBC, do they?” However, the 26-second clip, featuring two segments of individuals taking crates of bottled water on Evelyn Street in southeast London, originates from 2016.

A condensed, higher-quality footage was shared on YouTube on April 24, 2016, the same day as the 2016 London Marathon, and contemporary media coverage included screenshots of the incident. The BBC also reported on the occurrence on April 25, 2016. Furthermore, infrastructure alterations to Evelyn Road, evident in Google Street View images from February 2023, reveal that the bus lane seen in the 2016 video has since been replaced by a cycle path.

A spokesperson for London Marathon Events, the organizer of the annual race, clarified to Reuters via email that the incident indeed emerged in 2016. They emphasized, “There were no water thefts in 2024.” The BBC declined to offer a comment.

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