Monday, May 16, 2011

Olympic champ Wanjiru dies after fall

Journalists and friends at at Wanjiru's house, where he jumped from the balcony.  JOSEPH KURIA | NATION

Journalists and friends at at Wanjiru's house, where he jumped from the balcony. JOSEPH KURIA | NATION 

By DAVID MACHARIA and JAMES KARIUKI ([email protected])

Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru has died after apparently falling from the top floor of his home in Nyahururu, central Kenya.
According to the police, the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion died from injuries sustained after jumping from top floor of his home in Nyahururu town at about 1am local time.

News of the death spread like bushfire in the town and by the morning many people among them athletes had thronged the Nyahururu district hospital mortuary where the body was lying.

The athletics champion was said to have jumped from his house at the Muthaiga estate in Nyahururu. Police said there was a quarrel between the runner and his wife Triza Njeri moments before he leaped to his death.

Nyandarua police chief Jasper Ombati said Wanjiru had come home at 11pm with a female friend after a social evening before the wife unexpectedly showed up moments later.

Mr Ombati said the runner was pronounced dead on arrival at the Nyahururu district hospital where he had been rushed by relatives.


The 2008 Beijing Olympics Marathon Gold medallist Samuel Wanjiru's residence in Nyahururu. Photo/FILE

Relatives found him lying on the concrete floor bleeding through the mouth and ears.

“Doctors at the district hospital tried to resuscitate him in vain,” said Mr Ombati.

His female friend was being held at Nyahururu police station where she is helping police with investigations. The wife and a guard also recorded statements.

A huge crowd milled around the home by day break but the police had condoned off the area.

The sports hero was set to appear before a Nyahururu court on May 23 where he is charged with being in possession of an illegal fire arm.

In March, he had a sigh of relief after his wife and a guard, William Masinde, withdrew assault charges against him before the same court.