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Kenya Arrests Two Suspects in the Heartbreaking Murder of Ugandan Olympian Benjamin Kiplagat

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Johnathan Morris

Jan 1, 2024

Tragic End for a Champion: The Murder of Ugandan Athlete Benjamin Kiplagat

FILE - Uganda's Benjamin Kiplagat competes in the Men's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 15, 2016.

Kenyan police have arrested two suspects in the murder of Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat, who was found dead with a stab wound to his neck. The two men believed to be in their 30s, were apprehended on the outskirts of Eldoret, a town in the Rift Valley known for being a training hub for athletes. Local police commander Stephen Okal described the suspects as known criminals who have been terrorizing the public.

The investigation revealed that the incident occurred after Kiplagat's car collided with the suspects' motorcycle, possibly triggering the violent response. One of the suspects was caught with a knife believed to have been used in the murder. This incident raises concerns about the safety of athletes in the region, especially considering the previous murder of Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop in October 2021 under similar circumstances.

Kiplagat, a Kenyan-born athlete who represented Uganda, had an illustrious career spanning about 18 years. He won a silver medal at the 2008 World Junior Championships and a bronze at the Africa Championships in 2012. Kiplagat also competed in the 3000m steeplechase at the Olympics in London (2012) and Rio (2016).

The motive behind the killing remains unclear, and the police investigation continues, with the suspects expected to be sent to court. This tragic event underscores the vulnerability of athletes and the need for enhanced security measures in areas known for athletic training and competition.

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