Safe to say, we’ve seen more instances of needless physical aggression at track and field events over the last couple days than we’d seen before in our entire lives. Yesterday brought video of the brawl at a high school meet in Manhattan, and today comes a truly bizarre incident: Kenyan distance runner Edwin Kipsang Rotich in the middle of a race in Cuiaba, Brazil, minding his own business… and then, this:
Needless to say, pretty surreal that this actually happened – so much so that we definitely watched this with the thought, “That was real?” coursing through our heads. But what’s even crazier: Rotich still won the race. Combine that with the 15k race he won in Sao Paulo a week before, and he’s having himself a nice run.
Meanwhile, the tackler was identified as Wallace de Sousa Nogueira, and unfortunately (though not shockingly), it seems there’s a bit of a sad backstory behind this outlandish stunt:
Local police said that Nogueira has a history of mental problems, and is renowned for performing similar stunts in the past.
Nogueira’s arresting officer said: ‘He has a history of performing acts like these in the past, he’s someone with (psychiatric) problems.’
Well… a little harder to laugh at, when you look at it that way. This guy doesn’t sound like someone who should have been anywhere near an event like this, at least not alone. Really, it’s lucky that him tackling Rotich in ultimately harmless fashion was all that came of this. Crazed fans have done way worse, and hopefully Nogueira gets what help he needs before Rotich and his fellow runners come through Cuiaba again.