An upcoming international athlete and his training partner were on Friday killed in a morning road accident in Nyamira town as they headed to Kisii for a provincial cross country competition.
Japan-based Jefferson Siekei has been in Kenya on holiday and was bidding to make the Kenyan team to next month’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships that will be held in Amman, Jordan.
Siekei was riding his motorcycle with training partner, Christopher Michira Nyabera “Santos”, a Form Three student at the Nyamira Technical Secondary School, when they collided head-on with a truck.
“The two athletes died on the spot as the impact was so severe that not even the eye witnesses could save them,” Nyamira police chief, Lawrence Mwaura, said.
When the Nation arrived at the scene, the 25-year-old Siekei’s body was lying in the middle of the road with broken legs and neck.
Michira’s body was in a trench close by. Traffic police officers at the scene had a difficult time controlling the traffic on the busy road as the crowd swelled.
Athletics Kenya secretary general, David Okeyo, and public relations officer, Peter Angwenyi, described the athletes as among Kenya’s most promising.
“Siekei was among our most promising athletes and we had hoped to see him among the contenders for places in the Kenyan team to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships,” said Okeyo.
Siekei’s manager, Stephen Mayaka, a Japan national currently in Kenya on a scouting mission, said Siekei had just signed a year’s contract extension with his club, Hitachi Cable Company, in the Ibaraki Prefecture (province) of Japan.
“Siekei was a hard working athlete and members of his team in Japan are devastated,” Mayaka, a Kenya-born Japanese national, said on Saturday.
Siekei won the 2007 Kisii round of the Athletics Kenya Cross Country Series and was 12th at last year’s national cross country championships in Nairobi.