Agnes Tirop, a 25-year-old long-distance runner heroine, who represented Kenya in the 5,000 meters at this year’s Tokyo Olympics and finished fourth overall, was found dead at her home, stabbed in the neck with a knife.

According to Reuters, on Oct. 14, in Nairobi, Kenyan police said they had arrested the athlete’s husband, Ibrahim Rotich, on Thursday, in the coastal city of Mombasa, hours after pleading with him to turn himself in.

Tom Makori, Keiyo North’s police commander, added: “The suspect was nabbed this evening, held at Changamwe police station in the Coast Region.” He also stated that he was the main suspect.

Rotich was apprehended after crashing his car into a truck, according to the directorate of the Criminal Investigation Department’s post on Twitter, while attempting to flee from the country.

The board also said that detectives at Changamwe police station were gathering more information about the murder before Rotich faced prosecution.

Agnes Tirop on a running track on Oct.14, 2021. (Kenya Citizen TV/Screenshot via TheBL/YouTube)

Agnes Tirop is known worldwide for her bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships at 10,000m, especially the 2015 World Cross Country Championships.

Last month, Tirop made history, breaking the women’s 10km world record in Germany, crossing the line in 30:01 minutes, shaving 28 seconds off the previous record set by Asmae Leghzaoui of Morocco in 2002.

The 25-year-old athlete couldn’t hide her emotion, sharing: “I’m so happy to have broken the world record. I felt the pace was great. The track course was very great, too,” according to CNN.

At the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, Tirop became the second-youngest gold medalist in the women’s race, following Zola Budd.

Recently, in early October, Tirop was the runner-up in the Giants Geneva 10K race.

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta said the investigation into Tiro’s death must be expedited

Tirop’s passing, according to World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, was such a significant loss to the world of athletics as she has always been regarded as one of the brightest young stars.

In comments posted on the Olympics Twitter account page, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said: “Tirop’s impressive performance at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was such a source of hope and an inspiration to so many people. However, “I am deeply upset by the tragic death of her young and promising talent.”

In the footage captured by Reuters, friends, and relatives of Tirop, shocked and heartbroken, are leaving her residence. Police officers even had to cordon off the area with rope to prevent more people from coming as they learned of Tirop’s death.

Milka Chemwos, a representative for Athletics Kenya, said that she and Tirop had promised to meet each other in town on Monday at 4 p.m. 

She expressed her condolences and added: “After returning from Tokyo, we went with Tirop to Nairobi; she was delighted at the time.”

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