Thu, 02 Dec 2021

Kenyan leader mourns Olympian Tirop

14 Oct 2021, 02:05 GMT+10

NAIROBI, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday joined the country's athletics fraternity in mourning Olympian Agnes Jebet Tirop who was found dead in her house in Iten town in northwest Kenya.

Tirop, 25, was part of the triumphant Kenyan contingent to this year's delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she represented the country in the 5,000m race and finished fourth in the final.

In his condolence message, Kenyatta mourned Tirop as a Kenyan hero and champion whose death is 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, she 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," he eulogized.

According to the president, it is even more painful that Tirop, a Kenyan hero by all measures, painfully lost her young life through a criminal act perpetrated by selfish and cowardly people.

He directed the police to hasten the search and apprehension of the athlete's killers so that they can face the full force of the law.

The body of Tirop, a 2019 world 5,000m bronze medalist and 2015 senior cross-country champion, was found in her house with stab wounds in the abdomen.

Tirop who was the second youngest athlete to ever win gold at the World Cross Country Championship in 2015, was also part of Team Kenya's representative at the Tokyo Olympics.

Local reports say Tirop has been living at an athletics camp after differing with her husband but returned home two days ago following reconciliation efforts by relatives and friends.

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