Marathon Champion Sammy Wanjiru Dead at 24
Sammy Wanjiru, one of the greatest marathoners of all time and still in the prime of his career has died at age 24.
According to some early reports, Wanjiru committed suicide by jumping to his death from a balcony in his house shortly after being caught with another woman by his wife.
One police official said the 24-year-old Wanjiru committed suicide, while another official said he jumped to stop his wife from leaving the house after she discovered him with another woman. His agent, Federico Rosa, does not believe it was suicide.
Wanjiru, from Kenya, was the 2008 Olympic Gold medalist, setting the olympic record. At the time, the 21 year old Kenyan, promised that he would dominate distance running for the next decade.
A past world record holder at the half marathon, Wanjiru moved up to the marathon and set a number of bests including a course record at the London Marathon (now bested); the course record at the Chicago Marathon which at the time was also the fastest marathon ever recorded in North America. He was plagued by marital problems and withdrew before starting from his most recently planned marathon, the 2011 London Marathon.
Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia, the fifth of thirteen children, won the 2010 Virgin London Marathon in grand style. Hitting the halfway in 1:03:06, Tsegaye took off with Abel Kirui of Kenya,then broke him with a series of miles 4:38, 4:37, 4:33, and finally ran 2:05:19! There was noting ambivalent about Kebede’s race tactics: they were straightforward-run fast, then run faster. In is wake, Sammy Wanjiru, Duncan Kibet dropped out, and Emmanuel Mutai took second in 2:06:23 with Jaouad Gharib took third in 2:06:55! More details to come later this evening!
After winning both the Fukuoka International Marathon and the London Marathon Kebeda is now considered to be the worlds best marathon runner.