- Title: FILE: ATHLETICS: Kenyan olympic marathon champion Wanjiru dies
- Date: 18th May 2011
- Summary: NYAHURURU, KENYA (FEBRUARY 23, 2011) (REUTERS) (CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL) EXTERIOR LAW COURTS OLYMPIC MARATHON CHAMPION SAMUEL WANJIRU WALKING INTO COURT ROOM WITH HIS WIFE KENYA POLICE CHARGE SHEET MAGISTRATE WANJIRU IN THE DOCK WANJIRU'S WIFE TRIZA NJERI HOLDING A BIBLE WANJIRU IN THE DOCK PEOPLE WALK OUT OF COURT WANJIRU'S FRIENDS STANDING OUTSIDE WANJIRU'S FRIENDS SITTING WANJIRU STANDING WITH HIS WIFE SMILING
- Embargoed: 2nd June 2011 13:00
- Location: Kenya, China
- Country: China Kenya
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA7J8ZO70UBAD2KV5YIME9YYWS7
- Story Text: Kenya's first olympic marathon title holder, 24 year old Samuel Wanjiru, has died.
Kenyan Olympic Marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru was killed when he jumped off the balcony of his home late on Sunday (May 15), police said on Monday.
Police said they were trying to ascertain whether Wanjiru -- the first Kenyan to win the Olympic gold in the marathon -- 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 because he was bleeding from his nose and mouth.
Ombati said police were also investigating a possible love triangle that could have been behind the death of Wanjiru, 24, a Chicago and London marathon winner.
Ombati said: "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." He added:
"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 the athlete was confirmed dead by doctors at a nearby hospital.
Ombati said Wanjiru came home with a woman friend and the athlete's wife, Triza Njeri, found the two in bed.
In a rage, Njeri locked the couple in the bedroom and ran outside, and at this point that Wanjiru leapt from the balcony.
Ombati said Njeri and Wanjiru's female companion are assisting police in investigating the Olympian's death.
Last December, Wanjiru was charged in court with threatening to kill Njeri and illegal possession of an AK-47 assault rifle.
Njeri later withdrew her accusation of attempted murder against him in court, saying the couple had reconciled.
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 and lived in the Japanese city of Fukuoka.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None