October 22, 2017

Olympic marathon champion dies in fall

Sammy Wanjiru - a champion runner with a troubled life.

Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru died early Monday after jumping from a balcony, police said.

John Mbijiwe, the police chief in Kenya’s Central Province, said initial information indicated 24-year-old Wanjiru died after jumping from a balcony at his Rift Valley home, but the death is subject to further investigation.

Reports are that Wanjiru jumped from the first-floor balcony of his home after his wife found him in bed with another woman, police say.

Regional police chief Jaspher Ombati said that Wanjiru’s wife, Triza Njeri, surprised the couple when she came home late on Sunday, locked them in the bedroom and ran outside.

“In a rage, Samuel Kamau Wanjiru jumped from the first floor of the house and he was badly injured. When he was rushed to the hospital the doctors tried to resuscitate him but unfortunately he passed on,” said Ombati.

In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wanjiru became the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in the marathon, finishing in an Olympic-record 2 hours, 6 minutes, 32 seconds.

Wanjiru has had a history of domestic problems. Last December he was charged with wounding his security guard with a rifle and threatening to kill his wife and maid. He denied all charges and was released on bail.

Wanjiru was the youngest runner to win four major marathons. He finished first in London in 2009 and the 2008 Olympics and won twice in Chicago.

He was forced to pull out of April’s London Marathon because of a right knee injury.