Record-breaking long-distance runner, Agnes Tirop, who was stabbed to death last week, was buried at her home in Nandi County, Kenya, on Saturday in ceremony attended by the country’s top athletes.
Born on October 23, 1995, her burial date was set on the occasion of what would have been her 26th birthday.
Tirop’s burial also attracted thousands of people, a testament to Tirop’s popularity in the athletics-loving region.
Tirop, who represented the East African country in the 5,000m women’s race during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was found dead on Wednesday, October 13 in the western town of Iten, a training center for top athletes.
Her lifeless body had multiple stab wounds, and police suspect her husband to have been behind the killing.
The man, Ibrahim Rotich, was arrested hundreds of miles away in the coastal city of Mombasa, and is currently in police custody. He will face charges once investigations are completed.
As her burial was underway, top athletes and Kenyans at large conveyed messages of condolence to the family of Tirop.
Eliud Kipchoge, a two-time Marathon Gold Medalist at the Olympics, hailed Tirop as “the future of athletics.”
Kenya’s Central Bank Governor also posted a message of condolence on Twitter;
More messages posted on Twitter;
Agnes Tirop's final journey.
— Carol Radull (@CarolRadull) October 22, 2021
Tirop’s murder has amplified calls for and end to gender-based violence in Kenya.
On Friday, a large crowd marched through Eldoret town, as family members, fellow athletes and distraught fans demanded action from the government to eradicate gender-based violence.
Kenya has been in shock over a recent increase in reported cases of slain women. Besides Tirop another woman, a 17-year-old student and volleyball player, was raped, killed and then dumped in a river on October 4. The woman, Cynthia Makokha, had been on her way to visit family in Western Kenya when her attackers pounced.