Agnes Tirop: Husband arrested in Kenya after athlete’s death

Agnes Jebet TiropIMAGE
Agnes Tirop broke the women-only 10km road race world record last month

Police in Kenya have arrested the husband of record-breaking long-distance runner Agnes Tirop who was stabbed to death at her home.

Emmanuel Rotich, who was detained in the coastal city of Mombasa, will face charges once investigations are completed, an official said.

Ms Tirop, 25, was found dead on Wednesday in the western town of Iten, a training centre for top athletes.

Last month, she broke the women-only 10km road race world record.

Mr Rotich, described as the prime suspect in her killing, was caught on Thursday as he was trying to go “to a neighbouring country to evade justice”, the police said.

Earlier in the day, he “rammed his getaway vehicle into a lorry… as he desperately escaped our dragnet”, a statement on Twitter added.

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Mr Rotich is now being questioned.

On Thursday, Athletics Kenya – the sport’s governing body in the country – suspended all athletics competitions for two weeks as a mark of respect for Ms Tirop.

“We just lost a great talent. She was such a strong woman and committed to what she was doing,” Julius Yego, Kenya’s former athletics captain, told the BBC World Service’s Newsday programme.

During her career, Ms Tirop had success as both a junior – winning 5,000m bronze at world championships in 2012 and 2014 – and as a senior, winning the World Cross Country championships in 2015.

In August, she finished fourth in the 5,000m final at the Tokyo Olympics and in 2017 and 2019 she won the 10,000m bronze at the World Athletics Championships.

In September, she broke the women-only 10km road-race record by 28 seconds in Germany, setting a new time of 30 minutes and one second.