Uganda’s Olympic medallists Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo have condemned and added voice to end domestic violence following the death of Kenyan runner Agnes Tirop.
Tirop, a 2017 and 2019 world 10000m bronze medalist, was found dead with stab wounds on the morning of October 13. Her husband Ibrahim Rotich was last week charged with the murder.
She would have turned 26 on Saturday but instead, she was laid to rest at her parents’ home in Nandi County.
Cheptegei and Kiplimo were joined to Nandi county by 3000m steeplechase Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai, road runner Boniface Sikowo and coaches Benjamin Njia and Peter Chelangat.
Speaking at the burial ceremony, Cheptegei condemned domestic violence and also asked the Kenyan government to pay attention to the affairs of athletes.
“While you’re discussing issues in the Senate, include concerns of athletes. As we Kalenjin, our pride is in athletics; athletes are our national heroes,” he said.
“Even us in Kapkwuko (Sebei), we learn a lot from athletes here. When I trained from here, Geoffrey Kamworor and Faith Chepngetich took care of me in Kaptagat. Please guard them jealously.”
Cheptegei condoled with the family of Tirop and offered them Kshs100,000 (Shs3.2m) as condolence from the Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation.
On his Twitter handle later, he posted: “Today we send off Tirop to rest after the brutal murder. It was sad for us the athletics world. Such barbaric and demonising acts of domestic violence against women, girls and athletes should stop.”
Cheptegei was among the pall bearers at the church and later joined Tirop’s former teammates to lower the casket to her final resting place.
Kiplimo was equally broken, posting: “We’ve to rise up against gender and domestic violence. Rest in peace Agnes Tirop, athlete, champion, woman.”