Athletics Athletics

Ex- World 400m Hurdles champ Bett dead

Former 400m Hurdles World Champion Nicholas Bett arrives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday August 6, 2018 from the African Senior Athletics Championship in Asaba, Nigeria. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 8 – Nicholas Bett, the 2015 World 400m Hurdles Champion Nicholas Bett has died on Wednesday morning in a grisly road accident in Lessos, Nandi County, police and Athletics Kenya (AK) officials have confirmed.

According to reports, Bett was travelling to see a friend before his vehicle hit a bump and rolled several times, barely 48 hours after returning to the country from Asaba, Nigeria where he represented the country in the 400m Hurdles, a race he did not finish due to injury.

Nandi Police Commander Patrick Wambani confirmed Bett died when the car his car veered off the road and landed in a ditch on the Lessos-Eldoret road.

“I have just talked to Milcah (Chemos) who is at the scene and confirmed. It is very sad because I talked to him as late as yesterday at 11am. He had gone to Nairobi Hospital to see a doctor because of the injury he picked up in Asaba and he was to come back to AK later in the day for a letter,” Athletics Kenya official Barnaba Korir told Capital Sport.

2015 World 400m Hurdles Champion Nicholas Bett cruises to victory at the Athletics Kenya trials for the Africa Senior Athletics Championship on June 22, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

He added; “I tried to call him yesterday because of the document but I could not get through to him. This morning we got the reports and as AK we are saddened beyond words.”

Bett pulled out of the 400m Hurdles final in Asaba after 200m with an injury in a race that his brother Aron Koech who won gold in the 400m by 4 relay finished fourth.

He was in high spirits when the team returned from Asaba on Monday night and was looking forward to recovering from injury and competing at next year’s IAAF World Championship in Doha Qatar where he looked forward to reclaiming his crown.

The 28-year old broke into the limelight in 2015 when he powered to the gold medal at the Beijing World Championship where Kenya emerged top of the world.

However after that, he struggled to replicate his form and injuries did not help his cause, but was looking forward to reclaiming his throne in Doha.