If we were this dog’s owner, we would be sure to keep our pet pooch securely on a leash during the upcoming Tokyo Olympics…

The New Year Ekiden, also known as the All-Japan Men’s Corporate Team Ekiden Championships, is an annual road running relay which takes place in Gunma Prefecture on New Year’s Day. Now celebrating its 60th year, this year’s race was the site of an unfortunate incident involving a small dog and a preeminent runner.

During the second leg of the relay, a small dog jumped out from the nearby spectators and tripped Japan-based Kenyan runner Paul Mutero Kuira. A short clip of the scene has gone viral on the Japanese internet since it was posted on YouTube last Friday.

While Kuira is shown to get right back up after falling to the ground, the unfortunate tumble bumped him down to 12th place for that section of the race. Furthermore, his team’s corporate sponsor, Japanese technology company Konica Minolta, finished the race in second place overall after Toyota. With a gap of only 21 seconds between the first place and second place teams, did Kuira’s fall cost his team the victory?

Japanese net users responded to the video with a mixture of sympathy toward Kuira and anger toward the dog’s owner:

“No matter how I think about it, the owner is at fault.”

“If this happened at the Tokyo Olympics, I bet the owner would get in big trouble.

“The spectators seem to be too close as well.”

“People shouldn’t bring dogs or babies to these kinds of races in the first place!”

“Old man, you just made enemies with every Kenyan in the world.”

The dog, on the other hand, remains blissfully ignorant of its unintended meddling in the prestigious race. It’s probably a good thing that it didn’t jump out during the Hakone Relay on the following day, because if it had, it would’ve had four angry Friezas to deal with!

Source: Kinisoku
Top image: YouTube/BDis-KO