Olympic champion Wanjiru dies at 24

May 16, 2011 12:00 am

, NYAHURURU, Kenya, May 16 – Olympic Marathon Champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru has died after falling off a balcony at his Nyahururu home.

According to police reports, the athlete jumped off the balcony after a domestic quarrel with his wife.

Nyandarua County OCPD Jasper Ombati told Capital Newsbeat that the deceased returned home in the company of another woman at 11pm on Sunday.

"When his wife (Trizah Njeri Kamau) enquired who the woman was, a heated quarrel ensued," said Mr Ombati.

The wife then ran from their master bedroom and as her husband run after her, she locked the door to the stair-case, prompting Wanjiru to look for another way out.

The athlete proceeded to the balcony and jumped to the ground, a distance of about six metres, to catch up with his wife. 

"Unfortunately, he badly fell on the cemented floor and sustained serious head injuries," said Mr Ombati.

According to the OCPD, officers who were called in rushed him to the Nyahururu District Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.

The un-named girlfriend is being held at the Nyahururu police station while Wanjiru\’s wife Triza and night watchman Stephen Maigua have recorded statements and are helping with investigations.

Wanjiru was scheduled to appear before a Nyahururu court on Monday next week for a case in which he is accused of possessing an unlicensed firearm.

Two other domestic violence and threat to kill charges were dropped when his wife and another watchman withdrew charges against the two-time Chicago Marathon winner in February.

In January, Wanjiru was involved in a car accident on the Nairobi-Nyahururu road, where his four-wheel drive vehicle rolled several times after he tried to avoid an oncoming truck.

He later withdrew from April\’s Virgin London Marathon with a knee problem.

Wanjiru won the Olympic marathon title in Beijing in 2008 with a 2:06:32 championship record after making his breakthrough at the 2007 Fukuoka Marathon. He ran his 2:05:10 career best at the 2009 London marathon in addition to being the first double winner of the World Marathon Majors.

Between 2005 and 2007, Wanjiru twice held the world half marathon record.

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