Olympic marathon champ dies after jumping from balcony

Last Updated: Monday, May 16, 2011 - 10:19

Nyahururu: Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru was killed when he jumped off the balcony of his home late on Sunday, police said on Monday.

Police said they were trying to ascertain whether the 24-year-old - the first Kenyan to win the Olympic gold in the marathon at Beijing in 2008 - had deliberately killed himself by jumping off the balcony at his home in Nyahururu, a town in the Rift Valley, some 150 km (94 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.

Jaspher Ombati, the regional police chief for the area, said Wanjiru appeared to have suffered internal injuries after the fall and was confirmed dead by doctors at a nearby hospital.

"I can confirm that Wanjiru is dead. It is not yet clear whether it was a suicide or if he jumped out of rage, or what caused him to fall to the ground," Ombati said.

"He jumped from his first floor balcony to the ground. He was bleeding from the nose and the mouth, and may have suffered internal injuries," the police chief said.

Ombati said police were investigating a possible love triangle that could have been behind the death of Wanjiru, a former winner of the Chicago and London marathons.

Ombati said the athlete`s wife Triza Njeri had come home to find Wanjiru in bed with another woman, had locked the couple in the bedroom and ran outside.

Wanjiru then leapt from the balcony, he said. Ombati said Njeri and Wanjiru`s female companion are assisting police in investigating the death.
Nyahururu: Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru was killed when he jumped off the balcony of his home late on Sunday, police said on Monday.

Police said they were trying to ascertain whether the 24-year-old - the first Kenyan to win the Olympic gold in the marathon at Beijing in 2008 - had deliberately killed himself by jumping off the balcony at his home in Nyahururu, a town in the Rift Valley, some 150 km (94 miles) northwest of the capital Nairobi.

Jaspher Ombati, the regional police chief for the area, said Wanjiru appeared to have suffered internal injuries after the fall and was confirmed dead by doctors at a nearby hospital.

"I can confirm that Wanjiru is dead. It is not yet clear whether it was a suicide or if he jumped out of rage, or what caused him to fall to the ground," Ombati said.

"He jumped from his first floor balcony to the ground. He was bleeding from the nose and the mouth, and may have suffered internal injuries," the police chief said.

Ombati said police were investigating a possible love triangle that could have been behind the death of Wanjiru, a former winner of the Chicago and London marathons.

Ombati said the athlete`s wife Triza Njeri had come home to find Wanjiru in bed with another woman, had locked the couple in the bedroom and ran outside.

Wanjiru then leapt from the balcony, he said. Ombati said Njeri and Wanjiru`s female companion are assisting police in investigating the death.
Wanjiru defied the heat of Beijing in 2008 to triumph in an Olympic record time at the games held in China.

As a young man, Wanjiru moved to Japan in 2002 to attend high school after winning a cross country selection trial in Kenya.

Bureau Report



First Published: Monday, May 16, 2011 - 10:19

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