The athletics community is in mourning after news emerged that Kenyan long-distance runner Agnes Tirop has passed away.
According to Athletics Kenya, Olympic star Tirop – who recently finished fourth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo Games – was found dead at her home in Iten following an “alleged stabbing”.
With an investigation well underway, local police have now named her husband as a “man of interest” in her alleged murder.
“He can tell us what happened,” Keiyo North police commander Tom Makori told AFP.
“The suspect had made a call to Tirop’s parents saying that he’d committed something wrong. So we believe he knows what happened.”
Police also detailed the horrific scene within the couple’s home, before they eventually found Tirop dead in her bed.
Athletics Kenya, which is the sport’s body in the country, added that it is “still working to unearth more details surrounding her demise” but did confirm that the stab wounds were in Tirop’s abdomen.
Kenyan authorities confirmed that Tirop’s husband Emmanuel Ibrahim Kipleting is still on the loose, urging people with any information on his whereabouts to come forward.
“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, was quoted by the BBC.
“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.”
Tirop’s tragic death has sent shockwaves through the sports world with thousands of fans flocking to social media to pay their respects and send messages of support.
Kenyan athlete Agnes Jebet Tirop, who represented Kenya :flag_ke: at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 5000m, has been found dead in her house with stab wounds to her abdomen.
The adidas family is deeply saddened by the tragic news about Agnes Jebet Tirop.
Agnes was an incredible person, a record breaking athlete and a beloved member of our family.
World Athletics is deeply shocked and saddened by the untimely death of Kenya’s Agnes Tirop :flag_ke: at the age of 25.
The 2015 world cross-country champion and two-time world medallist had broken the women-only world record for 10km last month :point_down:
– World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) October 13, 2021
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said her death was “unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad.”
Elsewhere, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said: “Her performances at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gave hope and inspiration to so many people. My thoughts go to the Kenyan Olympic community and especially to her friends and family.”
While World Athletics president Sebastian Coe added: “Athletics has lost one of its brightest young stars in the most tragic circumstances.
“This is a terrible blow to the entire athletics community, but especially to her family, her friends and Athletics Kenya and I send them all our most heartfelt condolences.”
I am deeply saddened by the loss of our world record star Agnes Tirop, a gifted and indefatigable long-distance athlete who kept our flag flying globally. She was hardworking, focussed and resilient. pic.twitter.com/tjC5J9eqEq
– William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) October 13, 2021
A full investigation into Tirop’s death is still underway.
She was just 25 years of age.
Rest In Peace, Agnes.