NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has joined leaders in mourning former 400-metre hurdles World Champion Nicholas Bett who died early Wednesday in a road accident.
In his condolence message to the family, relatives and friends, President Kenyatta said he was deeply saddened by the death of the athlete who earned the country great honours in his outstanding victories in athletics.
“It is very sad indeed that we have lost one of our shining athletes in a road accident. In this hour of sorrow and grief, I convey my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the late Nicholas Bett,” he said.
“I join the athletics fraternity in mourning the 2015 World 400m hurdles champion who died through a tragic road accident in Lessos, Nandi County. May God the Almighty comfort the family, relatives and friends of the hero.”
Deputy President William Ruto said that the country has lost a hero who was adored.
“Bett was part of the triumphant squad that topped the medal standings in the African Senior Athletics Championships in Asaba. He was an affable, popular lad who was adored by his peers,” he stated.
“The passing on of World Champion Nicholas Bett is tragic and a big loss to his family, friends, Kenya and the global athletics fraternity. He made history in 2015 by being the first Kenyan gold medallist over a short distance in Beijing, China.”
Bett returned to the country on Tuesday from the continental championships in Nigeria where he was part of Team Kenya that competed at the just-concluded African Athletics Championships in Asaba.
His name hit the international limelight when he won the 400m hurdles finals at the 15th International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing in 2015 to become the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in short distance races at the world arena.