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An Olympic track and field star of the African nation of Kenya was found stabbed to death at her home in Iten, Kenya, on Wednesday, and police are seeking her still-at-large spouse for questioning.
Agnes Tirop, 25, finished fourth in the 10,000-meter race in the Tokyo Olympics, where she represented her country. Just last month, she won the Adizero Road to Records Women’s 10K in 30:01 in Herzogenaurach, Germany, breaking the world record by 29 seconds.
In a statement, Athletics Kenya wrote that they are “distraught” to hear of her death.
Officials said Tirop was allegedly stabbed by her husband, Emmanuel Ibrahim Kipleting. However, they are “still working to unearth more details surrounding her demise.”
Kipleting is still at large, authorities said.
“Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletics giants on the international stage,” said Athletics Kenya, “thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track.”
Tirop won bronze medals in the 10,000m race in both 2017 and 2019 at the World Championships. In mid-September, she broke the previous world record of 30:29, besting the time set in 2002 by Moroccan middle-distance runner Asmae Leghzaoui.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta paid tribute to Tirop, saying, in a statement: “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, 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.”
Per the BBC, Tom Makori, head of police for the area, said, “When [police] got in the house, they found Tirop on the bed and there was a pool of blood on the floor.”
“They saw she had been stabbed in the neck, which led us to believe it was a knife wound,” Makori added, “and we believe that is what caused her death.”
Makori confirmed that Kipleting is a suspect they want to question.
“Her husband is still at large, and preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found,” said Makori. “Police are trying to find her husband so he can explain what happened to Tirop.”
Iten, the town in western Kenya where the star athlete was found, is where the world’s running elite are trained. According to the report, there are cameras in the home that may help uncover what happened to Tirop.
In the Tokyo Olympics, which took place this summer, Kenya was 19th in the medal showing, with 10.
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Author: Biba Adams