Athletics-World Championship bronze medallist Tirop found stabbed to death


FILE PHOTO: Athletics - World Athletics Championships - Doha 2019 - Women's 10,000 Metres Final - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - September 28, 2019 Kenya's Agnes Jebet Tirop reacts after finishing third in the final REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

(Reuters) - Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop, a two-times World Championship bronze medallist, was found stabbed to death at her home, Athletics Kenya said on Wednesday.

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

"Tirop was found dead at their home in Iten after she was allegedly stabbed by her husband. We are still working to unearth more details surrounding her demise," Athletics Kenya said in a statement.

Local police said Tirop's husband was a suspect.

"We received a message from the family of Tirop's husband that the husband had phoned the parents while crying and asking that God forgive him as there is something bad he had done," Tom Makori, Keiyo North Sub County Police Commander, told the private-owned NTV Kenya Television.

"When police went to Tirop's house they found her in bed with blood under the bed and a lot of it on the floor.

"When police looked at the body, it looked like she had been stabbed on the neck with what we suspect to be a knife."

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.

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

"It is even more painful that Agnes, a Kenyan hero by all measures, painfully lost her young life through a criminal act perpetuated by selfish and cowardly people," Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement.

"I urge our law enforcement agencies led by the National Police Service to track down and apprehend the criminals responsible for the killing of Agnes."

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by George Obulutsa in Nairobi; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis)

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