Kenyan world-record runner found dead; husband a suspect

Kenyan world-record runner found dead; husband a suspect
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A Kenyan runner who shattered a world record in the women’s 10 kilometer last month was found dead on Wednesday with authorities already searching for her husband as a possible suspect, The Guardian reported.

Police are looking for the husband of Agnes Tirop after they found her at home in Iten with stab wounds in the neck and noticed that there had been “a pool of blood on the floor,” a local police chief Tom Makori, said, according to the news outlet. Makori said authorities believe she was stabbed with a knife and that “preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found.”

“Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletic giants on the international stage,” Athletics Kenya, the country’s governing body for athletics, said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Tirop had just last month crushed a world record in the women’s 10 kilometer race, clocking a new record time of 30:01 and beat a previous record from 2002 of 30:29. She also placed third in the 2017 and 2019 world championships. She finished fourth in the 5,000 meter during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Guardian reported.

The president of Kenya called her death, “unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad,” according to the Guardian.

“It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we’ve lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, had brought our country so much glory,” Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said on Wednesday. “It is even more painful that Agnes, a Kenyan hero by all measures, painfully lost her young life through a criminal act perpetrated by selfish and cowardly people.”

He also urged police to hunt for Tirop's killer “so that they can face the full force of the law,” according to the news outlet.

“I’m deeply shocked by the tragic death of Agnes Tirop, a young and bright talent. Her performances at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gave hope and inspiration to so many people. My thoughts go to the Kenyan Olympic community and especially to her friends and family." International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach wrote in a statement.