Agnes Tirop: Police arrest husband of Kenyan runner found stabbed to death

Athletics Kenya postpone events for two weeks in honour of Tirop

Kenyan police have arrested the husband of record-breaking runner Agnes Tirop, who was found stabbed to death at her home in a killing that has shocked her country and the world of athletics.

Distance runner Tirop, a two-times World Championship bronze medallist, represented Kenya in the 5,000m event at the Tokyo Olympics and finished fourth in the final.

Police said they had arrested Emmanuel Rotich in the coastal city of Mombasa.

"The suspect has been arrested today evening and is in custody at Changamwe police station in Coast Region," Tom Makori, sub county police commander for Keiyo North, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

"I can confirm now we have main suspect in our custody."

Tributes have poured in for Tirop since her body was found with stab wounds in the bedroom of their home in Iten in western Kenya, a high-altitude training hub for many athletes.

"Murder of a champ," was the front-page headline in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper.

Athletics Kenya said it was postponing events for two weeks in honour of Tirop and another runner who was found dead at the weekend.

Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei said Tirop's death was a "huge blow" to athletics, describing her as "one of the fastest rising stars" and voicing hope for speedy justice.

Last month, Tirop become the fastest woman over 10km in a women-only race in Germany, crossing the line in 30:01 to shave 28 seconds from the previous record held by Morocco's Asmae Leghzaoui from 2002.

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.

Updated: October 15th 2021, 7:19 AM