Agnes Tirop: “gem” killed in Kenya’s athletics crown

Agnes Tirop: a

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 28, 2019, Kenya’s Agnes Jebet Tirop celebrates with the national flag after placing third in the women’s 10,000m final at the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Doha Khalifa International Stadium. – Kenyan record-breaking long-distance runner Agnes Tirop was found dead on October 13, 2021, with stab wounds in the stomach in an alleged homicide, athletics officials said. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP)

Nairobi, Kenya – In just a few short years, Agnes Tirop has established herself as one of the brightest stars in the athletics world, breaking records and winning medals to support her vast Kenyan family.

But the long-distance runner’s life and dreams were sorely cut short when she was found stabbed to death in the bedroom of her home in Iten, a world-famous training center in Kenya, on Wednesday, just 10 days from his 26th birthday.

Kenya, lamented the country’s athletics body, had lost a “gem that was one of the fastest growing athletics giants on the international stage”.

“With proof of what she has accomplished in her young career so far, this is a life cut short, one that will hurt us… for quite a long time,” said Athletic Kenya boss Jackson. Tuwei.

Born into a farming family in the sleepy town of Kesses in the Rift Valley in October 1995, Tirop began her athletic career less than a decade ago – but quickly won many second places in races of national and international cross-country.

She went on to become one of Kenya’s rising stars – as the 2015 cross country world champion, two-time world medalist in 10,000m and fourth in 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

She passed away just a month after one of her greatest achievements – breaking the women’s 10km world record in Germany with a time of 30:01, a whopping 28 seconds under the previous best mark.

Police said her husband Emmanuel Rotich – who was arrested Thursday night in the coastal town of Mombasa – called Tirop’s parents to tell them he had done something “wrong”, as media reported of problems in their marriage.

‘One of us’

As the athlete made history abroad, her family relied on the smiling 25-year-old as their breadwinner.

“Agnes was our only hope. We as family athletes don’t know what we’re going to do, ”said his cousin Joash Limo, himself a 5,000m athlete, who called on the government to ensure justice. rendered.

He spoke as mourners, some of whom were sobbing, gathered at the family home in a village about a two-hour drive from Iten, where a relative proudly displayed Tirop’s medals and trophies.

Tirop’s grieving mother Dinah spoke of her daughter’s generosity to the family – paying for school fees and clothes for the children.

“I also depended on her for everything,” she said. “Every time she visited the house, she was shopping for me and we all celebrated being with her.”

In Iten, the high altitude training center in the Rift Valley in western Kenya, the other athletes said they were sorry.

“Agnes Tirop was one of us, we trained here in Iten, participating and representing our community, representing our nation in various events around the world. She’s doing really great, ”said Isaiah Kosgei, marathoner and athletic physiotherapist.

After her 10k victory in Germany, Tirop posted a photo of herself on Instagram with a beaming smile and her yellow running shoes inscribed with the weather beating the world.

She thanked God, his managers, sponsors and fans, ending with a now deeply poignant statement: “Tomorrow is bright.”

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