Kenyan Police Plead With Husband of Dead Tirop to Surrender

By Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
October 14, 2021 Updated: October 14, 2021

NAIROBI—Kenyan police said on Thursday they were asking the husband of distance runner Agnes Tirop, a two-times World Championship bronze medallist who was found dead at her home, to come forward.

Police said on Wednesday that Tirop appeared to have been stabbed in the neck with a knife.

The 25-year-old represented Kenya in the 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics and finished fourth in the finals.

“We are now urging Ibrahim Rotich, husband to the late Kenyan athlete, to present himself to the nearest police station or security agency to assist police with their investigations,” Tom Makori, sub county police commander for Keiyo North, told Reuters by telephone.

“We have not arrested the suspect by Thursday, but we have some information which can lead us for his arrest.”

Last month, Tirop smashed the women-only 10km world record in Germany, crossing the line in 30:01 to shave 28 seconds from the previous record held by Morocco’s Asmae Leghzaoui from 2002.

In early October, Tirop, finished second in the Giants Geneva 10K race.

She won bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000m, and also won the 2015 World Cross Country Championships.

“Athletics has lost one of its brightest young stars in the most tragic circumstances,” World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta asked for a quick investigation into Tirop’s death.

“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,” International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said in comments posted on the Olympics Twitter account.

Television footage obtained by Reuters showed Tirop’s distraught friends and relatives leaving her residence, while police officers used a cordon to keep away others who had come to inquire what had happened.

“The girl was so jovial, in fact we travelled with her to Nairobi the day that we were returning back home from Tokyo,” Athletics Kenya representative Milka Chemwos said.

“Even on Monday at 4 p.m. I talked to her through the phone and we were to meet in town. So it (Tirop’s death) has happened, it is unfortunate.”

By Humphrey Malalo

Reuters
Reuters