Agnes Tirop, Kenya’s two-time world championship bronze medallist, has died at the age of 25 in an alleged murder at her home, with police reportedly seeking her husband.
Tirop was found in her Iten home with stab wounds on Wednesday, according to Athletics Kenya (AK) and local media reports, which have been confirmed by the police.
“When [police] got in the house, they found Tirop on the bed and there was a pool of blood on the floor,” Tom Makori, head of police for the area, was quoted by the BBC as saying.
“They saw she had been stabbed in the neck, which led us to believe it was a knife wound, and we believe that is what caused her death.
“Her husband is still at large, and preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found. Police are trying to find her husband so he can explain what happened to Tirop.”
Tirop took world bronze over 10,000 metres in 2017 and 2019, and finished fourth in the 5,000m at the recent Tokyo Olympic Games.
Only last month, she set the 10km world record for women’s only races, continuing a brilliant career which saw her become world cross country champion in 2015 when aged only 19.
“Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track,” AK said.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said her death was “unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad.”
“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,” he said.