Olympic champion Wanjiru dies at 24


Nyahururu, Kenya, May 16 – The glittering career of one of the most celebrated distance runners, Olympic Marathon Champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru came to a tragic end at 24 on Sunday night when he fell from his balcony and later died from his injuries.

The twice Chicago winner and 2009 London marathon champion is reported to have returned to his Milimani home in Nyahururu, 195km from Kenya’s capital Nairobi at 11:00pm in the company of an unnamed woman prompting a bitter quarrel with his spouse, Triza Njeri.

Nyandarua County OCPD Jasper Ombati said the wife run away from their their master bedroom and with her husband in hot pursuit, she locked the stair-case door prompting Wanjiru to look for an an alternative way out.

Wanjiru proceeded to the balcony and jumped from the house about six meters down from the first floor of his palatial home to catch up with his wife.

Unfortunately he badly fell on the cemented floor and sustained serious head injuries.

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

He added that the un-named woman is held at the Nyahururu police station while Wanjiru’s wife Triza Njeri and night watchaman Stephen Maigua have recorded statements and are helping with investigations.

Wanjiru was scheduled to appear before a Nyahururu court on Monday week for a case in which he is implicated with possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Two other domestic violence charges and threatening to kill were dropped when his wife and another watchman dropped their charges against the twice Chicago Marathon winner in February.

In January, Wanjiru was also involved in a car accident on the Nairobi-Nyahururu road, rolling his four wheel drive vehicle several times while trying 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 addittion 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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