Kenyan world record holder Agnes Tirop was found dead at her home in the western city of Iten, a training center for many athletes.
The two-time bronze medalist at the World Championships in Athletics, who finished fourth in the Olympic 5,000m final two months ago, was 25 years old.
Kenyan police told BBC Sport Africa that they are still investigating the circumstances of his death, with crime scene investigators at his home on Wednesday.
Last month, Tirop set the world record for a women’s 10km road race in Germany, reports the BBC.
“Athletics Kenya are shocked this afternoon to learn of the untimely death of world bronze medalist Agnes Tirop in 10,000 meters,” the country’s athletics body said in a statement.
“We are still working to find out more details about his disappearance. Kenya has lost a jewel that has been one of the fastest growing athletics giants on the international scene, thanks to its captivating performances on the track ”.
At the 2020 Olympic Games in August, Tirop finished just out of the way for the women’s 5,000m medals, trailing Ethiopian bronze medal Gudaf Tsegay by 0.75 seconds.
In addition to his 10,000m bronze medals at both the 2017 and 2019 World Athletics Championships, Tirop also impressed off the track.
In September, he set a time of 30 minutes and one second in Herzogenaurach, Germany, breaking the old 10km road record set in 2002 by 28 seconds.
Tirop began his career as a junior athlete in 2011, winning two bronze medals in the 5,000m at the junior world championships that year.
Four years later, during a rapid rise, he won the Senior Cross Country World Championships in China, becoming the second youngest medal at that level.
In its statement, Athletics Kenya wished “strength for [Tirop’s] family and friends in this difficult time ”.
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