Olympic athlete found dead at home – and husband is suspect

Police are treating Agnes Jebet Tirop's husband as a "suspect" after the Olympic star was found dead at her home in Kenya.

Athletics has been rocked by the death of the women's 10km road race world record holder, who finished fourth in the Olympic 5,000m final in Tokyo two months ago. She had allegedly been stabbed in the neck and stomach.

On Wednesday, crime scene investigators were at Tirop's home – with police saying she had been reported missing by her father the night before.

"When [police] got in the house, they found Tirop on the bed and there was a pool of blood on the floor," Tom Makori, head of police for the area, said.

"They saw she had been stabbed in the neck, which led us to believe it was a knife wound, and we believe that is what caused her death.

"Her husband is still at large, and preliminary investigations tell us her husband is a suspect because he cannot be found. Police are trying to find her husband so he can explain what happened to Tirop."

The death sent shock waves through her native country, with Athletics Kenya releasing a statement saying they were “distraught” at the loss of “a jewel."

"Athletics Kenya are this afternoon distraught to learn about the untimely death of World 10,000m bonze medalist Agnes Tirop," it read.

"Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletic giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track.

"We pray that God may grant strength to her family and friends at this difficult time."

Just last month Tirop smashed the women-only world record for a road 10km race, clocking 30 mins 01sec in Germany.

“Such sad news,” tweeted British 5,000m record holder Eilish McColgan. “RIP Agnes.”

"HEARTBREAKING!" wrote journalist Usher Komugisha. She was just 10 days away from her 26th birthday. Rest in peace Queen!:

Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta described Tirop’s death as “unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad”.

He added: “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.

“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 so that they can face the full force of the law.”

Tirop burst onto the scene at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships when she became the second-youngest ever gold medallist in the women's race, following in the footsteps of Zola Budd.

She was a medallist at junior level at the World Cross Country and World Junior Championships in athletics and was also the junior champion at the African Cross Country Championships in 2014.

She also won bronze in the 10,000 metres events at both the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships.

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