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Rising star Tokyo Olympics athlete Tirop found dead

By , People Daily Digital
Thursday, October 14th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Agnes Tirop. Photo/File

Wycliffe Kipsang

One of Kenya’s heroines in the recent Tokyo Olympics, Agnes Tirop, was yesterday found dead in a suspected homicide case.

Her body was discovered in her house in the outskirts of Iten town, Elgeyo Marakwet county, with a stab wound in the abdomen.

There was a pool of blood under her bed, an indication she could have bled to death.

The promising athlete was one of the stars in the Kenya contingent to the Tokyo Olympics, where she finished fourth in the women’s 5,000 metres race, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal.

Initial investigations

Officers from Iten Police Station and investigators from the forensics unit in Eldoret had a hectic time keeping at bay shocked residents who flocked the home after news of her death spread.

Among those who visited the deceased’s home to condole with the family included three-time London marathon champion Mary Keitany. She was accompanied by a host of local athletes and coaches.

Keiyo North police boss Tom Makori said officers had launched investigations into the incident.

“Initial investigations reveal the athlete’s husband called her parents to report he regretted what he had done.

This makes us believe he had a hand in the death. We are looking for him as he is currently on the run,” Makori said at a press briefing in Iten town.

He said police were forced to break into the athlete’s house  where they found the body lying in a pool of blood.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who joined Kenyans in mourning the athlete, described her as a champion, whose death was a big blow to the country’s sporting ambitions and profile.

“It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we have lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, had brought our country so much glory, through her exploits on the global athletics stage- including in this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she was part of the Kenyan team in Japan,” the President eulogised.

“It is even more painful that Agnes, a Kenyan hero by all measures, painfully lost her young life through a criminal act perpetuated by selfish and cowardly people,” the President said, and directed the police to hasten the search and arrest of her killers.

“I urge our law enforcement agencies led by the National Police Service to track down and apprehend the criminals responsible for the killing of Agnes so that they can face the full force of the law,” the Head of State directed.

Sources told People Daily that the athlete had been staying alone after apparent disagreements with her husband.

The man is said to have returned to the home last weekend and stayed until Tuesday night when the athlete is suspected to have been killed.

Sources said police were alerted about the incident when the man called Tirop’s parents, initially to report that she was missing and later changed the story to say he was sorry for what he had done.

The parents live near Tambach on the way to Kabarnet.

Last evening, Athletics Kenya in a statement said the athletics fraternity and the country at large had lost a great athlete.

“Tirop was one of the fastest-rising athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track.

We pray that God may grant strength to family and friends at this difficult moment,” the athletics body said.