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Love, insecurity in world record holder Agnes Tirop death?

By , People Daily Digital
Friday, October 15th, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
Agnes Tirop. Photo/File

Emmanuel Ibrahim Kipchumba Rotich, the prime suspect in the murder of 10 kilometre Road Race world record holder-Agnes Tirop, had an introverted personality and was not misinterpreted as being cold and confrontational, because that is who he was.

In his rural home, off the Iten-Eldoret road in Elgeyo Marakwet County, many people know very little about him, some only know him physically, but don’t really know his name.

He has many names, something that never raised eyebrows, or if it did, nobody asked.

Neighbours say he never bothered to talk to people around, one thing was evident though, he was overly protective of his lover, international athletics star Tirop whose lifeless body was discovered in her house in Iten on Wednesday.

Detectives have launched a hunt for Rotich who allegedly confessed killing the athlete.

Strained relationship

The lifeless body of Tirop, who represented Kenya at the Tokyo Olympics in August, was found in her bedroom with a deep stab wound on the stomach, according to the police. It is believed she was killed. 

Neigbours told People Daily that the two love birds lived together for close to five years, and only signs of a strained relationship appeared few weeks to the Tokyo Olympics Games.

The late athlete’s neighbour Joan Chemos said the news on Wednesday morning was tragic to the entire neighborhood.

“I think what happened was a desperate move from the husband. Things have not been ok even before Tirop travelled to Tokyo for the Olympic Games. They were experiencing a lot of fights,” said the Chemos.

She said the late athlete had installed several CCTV cameras in their home without the knowledge of his boyfriend after she had rumours that he was promiscuous.

“They never recovered from a fight after Tirop found him with another woman in their matrimonial home, two weeks before the Olympic trials in June.

Things went downhill afterwards and the athlete wanted to move out, something the boyfriend was not comfortable about. She moved out of the house,” said the neighbour.

A relative who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the matter said Tirop’s parents were from the word go against the relationship and therefore never gave them consent for marriage, therefore the reason there was never a traditional marriage or why she retained her family name Tirop.

“Something was off with the relationship, they used to love each other yes but the parents declined to them living together.

They saw him as someone who was not straightforward in many ways, also the age bracket was very huge and a hindrance,” the relative spoke of the suspect who was in his early forties.

Tirop last month, broke the women-only record in the women’s 10km at Road Race in Germany, timing 30:01.

Last week, she finished an impressive second, timing 30:20 at the Valencia Half Marathon.

Iten based athletics coach Peter Bii has challenged athletes moreso the female to make bold decisions when it comes to their hard earned money.

“ We have to empower out famale athletes mentally and financially, so that they can take full responsibility of their hard earned Money.

They need to be independent thinkers. Have your own bank account, control your finances and your investment and don’t transfer everything to your spouse or boyfriend,”he warned.

He warned athletes against surrounding themselves with the wrong company who eat off their sweat like leeches.

Strained relationship

“We have a crop of men whose job is to identify potential athletes and befriend them. Once the female athlete starts progressing, the men who mascarade as coaches and spouses control everything,” he said.

He added: “You need the right people around you including family, friends, relatives, coaches and managers.

They should be the kind of people who help you reach the next level of your career, rather than just eating the little you have gained thus far.”

Bii warned that there are so many athletes suffering in silence, urging them to speak up before it’s too late.

“We have to speak about the ills in society. I know the message will not be received well but have to strive to protect and empower our female athletes.

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