Kenyan world record holder Agnes Tirop has been found dead at her home in the western town of Iten. She was 25 years old.
The two-time World Athletics Championship bronze medallist, who finished fourth in the Tokyo Olympic Games 5,000m final, set the world record for a women’s only 10km road race last month in Germany.
The police in Kenya, according to reports, say they are still investigating the circumstances surrounding her death, with crime scene investigators at her house on Wednesday.
“Athletics Kenya are this afternoon distraught to learn about the untimely death of World 10,000m bronze medallist Agnes Tirop,” the country’s athletics body said in a statement.
“We are still working to unearth more details surrounding her demise. Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track.”
At the 2020 Olympic Games in August, Tirop finished just outside the medal places for the women’s 5,000m, trailing Ethiopia’s bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay by 75 hundredths of a second.
A 10,000m bronze medallist at both the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships, Tirop, in September, set a time of 30 minutes and one second in Herzogenaurach, Germany, as she took 28 seconds off the old 10km road race record set in 2002.
Tirop began her career as a junior athlete in 2011, winning two bronze medals in the 5,000m at that year’s world junior championships.
Four years later, during a rapid ascent, she won the senior World Cross Country championships in China – becoming the second youngest medallist at that level.