ABU - ASALKAN BUKAN UMNO

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Olympic marathon champion jumps to death

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:38 AM | Best Blogger Tips

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Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru has died after a fall at his home in Nyahururu, Kenya.  
Police say the 24-year-old killed himself by jumping from a balcony following a domestic dispute involving his wife and another woman.
John Mbijiwe — police chief in Kenya's Central Province — said: "The fact of the matter is that Wanjiru committed suicide."
Another official, who asked not to be named, claimed Wanjiru had been drinking and was discovered by his wife, Triza Njeri, with another woman at their house.
Wanjiru had a history of domestic problems. In December last year, he was charged with threatening to kill Njeri and illegal possession of an AK-47 assault rifle.
Njeri withdrew her accusation of attempted murder in court in February, saying the couple had reconciled.
At the time, the magistrate ruled that the firearm charge would be heard on May 15.
Wanjiru made an early start to his career, moving to Japan aged 15 where he attended school in Sendai where he won some major cross country events while also competing in track competitions.
Moving to Europe to advance his promising career, Wanjiru won the Rotterdam Half Marathon in 2005 in a world record time.
He twice improved on that record before stepping up to the full marathon in 2007, back in Japan, winning the Fukuoka Marathon.
But he shot to worldwide fame at the age of 21 when he won gold in Beijing in 2008 in an Olympic record time of two hours six minutes and 32 seconds.
He went on to win both the London and Chicago marathons a year later, but dropped out of the London race in 2010 through injury and missed April's event with a knee problem.
Britain's Mo Farah, who has enjoyed several bouts of training in Kenya, paid tribute to Wanjiru.
Double European champion Farah wrote on his Twitter page: "So sad to hear about Sammy Wanjiru. He was a legend and still so young."
And marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie — a two-time Olympic champion and world record holder — said on his Twitter feed that he was "totally shocked" by the news.
He said: "My thoughts are with his family and all his friends and colleagues.
"Of course one wonders if we as an athletics family could have avoided this tragedy."
American marathon runner Ryan Hall posted on Twitter: "Incredibly sad news about Sammy. I am shocked and saddened."

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