Two-time world championship medalist Agnes Tirop found dead in suspected homicide

Record-breaking Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop was found dead with stab wounds in the stomach in a suspected homicide, athletics officials said on Wednesday.

Police said they were looking for her husband following the incident at Tirop’s home in the Iten high altitude training center in western Kenya.

Tirop, 25, was a rising star and two-time bronze medalist in the 10,000 meters (in 2017 and 2019) and world cross country champion in 2015. She also finished fourth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics this year. year.

She broke the women’s 10km world record at the Road to Records event in Germany last month with a time of 30 minutes and 1 second, taking 28 seconds off the previous record, Athletics Kenya said.

Tirop also made history in 2015, when she became the second youngest gold medalist at the women’s cross country championships.

“Kenya lost a gem that was one of the fastest growing athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to its eye-catching performances on the track,” Athletics Kenya said in a statement.

“We are still working to find out more details about his disappearance.”

Keiyo North Police Commander Tom Makori said Tirop’s husband Emmanuel Rotich was a “man of interest” in the case.

“He can tell us what happened,” Makori said. “The suspect had called Tirop’s parents to tell them that he had done something wrong. So we think he knows what happened. “

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta paid tribute to the young athlete and urged the police to find those responsible for her death.

“It is disturbing, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we have lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25, brought so much glory to our country through her exploits on the world stage of the world. ‘athletics,’ he said. in a report.

“It is even more painful that Agnes, a Kenyan heroine in all respects, painfully lost her young life to a criminal act perpetrated by selfish and cowardly people.”

The US Embassy in Nairobi also expressed condolences for Tirop’s loss, describing her as “a figure of hope for women in sport”.

Another Kenyan long-distance athlete, Hosea Mwok Macharinyang, a member of the country’s record-breaking world cross-country team, died on Saturday after what Kenyan athletics officials called suicide.

Macharinyang, 35, was found at his home in West Pokot, western Kenya.

“He was such a brilliant athlete, committed to the sport where he competed for Kenya for many years in both cross country and the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races,” said Jackson Pkemoi, representing West Pokot of Athletics Kenya.

Macharinyang made a record eight World Cross Country Championship appearances and won three straight titles from 2006-2008.

Kenya is the most successful nation in the cross country championships, having won 49 teams and 27 individual titles.

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