Olympian Agnes Jebet Tirop Dies at 25 After Stabbing

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIOctober 14, 2021

HERZOGENAURACH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 12: Agnes Jebet Tirop of Kenya wins the ADIZERO: ROAD TO RECORDS Women's 10km in 30:01 at adidas HQ on September 12, 2021 in Herzogenaurach, Germany. She broke the world record by 29 seconds. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for ADIDAS)
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for ADIDAS

Kenyan professional long-distance runner, World Championship medalist, world-record holder and Olympian Agnes Jebet Tirop was found stabbed to death at her home in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County. She was 25.

Elgeyo Marakwet County police chief Tom Makori provided more information, per BBC Sport.

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

Gerald Imray of the Associated Press also revealed more information from Makori, who noted that Tirop's husband was a person of interest after his family told police he called them crying and asking for God's forgiveness.

Tirop's car was also found with its windscreen and windows smashed, per police, which they said could be indicative of a domestic dispute.

Makori also said CCTV (video surveillance) in the house may be able to aid in the investigation. BBC additionally reported that Tirop suffered a stab wound to her stomach.

Tirop's father reported her missing Tuesday evening, and investigators were at Iten's residence Wednesday, per BBC Sport.

Tirop finished fourth in the 5,000-meter run at the Tokyo Olympics last August. She also took bronze at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000-meter run.

In addition, Tirop set a women-only world record for a road 10-kilometer race when she had a time of 30 minutes and one second:

"I'm so happy to have broken the world record," Tirop said.

"I felt the pace was good. The course was very good, too."

Many expressed their condolences upon hearing the news.

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the president of Kenya, issued a statement:

"It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we've lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, she had brought our country so much glory through her exploits on the global athletics stage including in this year's 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she was part of the Kenyan team in Japan.
"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."

Adidas and Athletics Kenya did as well:

adidas Running @adidasrunning

The adidas family is deeply saddened by the tragic news about Agnes Jebet Tirop. <br><br>Agnes was an incredible person, a record breaking athlete and a beloved member of our family. <br><br>She will be greatly missed by us all and her legacy will forever live on in our memory. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AgnesTirop?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AgnesTirop</a> <a href="https://t.co/VXZQhdw6HL">pic.twitter.com/VXZQhdw6HL</a>

Athletics Kenya @athletics_kenya

<a href="https://t.co/ncmzF6bu6Q">pic.twitter.com/ncmzF6bu6Q</a>

Aliphine Chepkerker Tuliamuk, a Kenyan-born American long-distance runner, also expressed the importance of speaking out for women suffering from domestic violence:

Aliphine Tuliamuk @mamaZoeCherotch

I don’t have words to describe how devastating this is, domestic violence is killing our women, we can’t be silent while our women (athletes) suffer in silence with others losing their lives😭😭<br>Agnes Jebet Tirop - Kenyan Olympian Found Dead at Her Home <a href="https://t.co/OQEkfjfo1E">https://t.co/OQEkfjfo1E</a>

Tirop's resume also includes a storied victory at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where she became the second-youngest gold medalist in history.


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