Kenya's Olympic Champion dies after falling from balcony

14:48, May 16, 2011      

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By Kimathi Kamau and John Kwoba

Olympic marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru died on Sunday night after reportedly falling from his balcony and later succumbing to his injuries.

Area police chief, Jasper Ombati said Wanjiru returned to his Milimani home in Nyahururu, 195km from Kenya's capital Nairobi at 11 p.m. local time (2000GMT) in the company of an unnamed woman, prompting a bitter quarrel with his spouse, Triza Njeri.

The wife then ran away from their master bedroom and with her husband in pursuit. She locked the stair-case door prompting Wanjiru to look for an alternative way out, according to police.

Wanjiru proceeded to the balcony and jumped from the balcony about six meters down to the first floor of his palatial home in an attempt to catch up with his fleeing wife.

However, he fell on the cemented floor and sustained head injuries and according to the police chief, security officers who were called rushed him to the Nyahururu District Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

Ombati added that the unnamed woman is still held at the Nyahururu police station while Wanjiru's wife Triza Njeri and night watchman Stephen Maigua have recorded statements and are helping with investigations.

Wanjiru was scheduled to appear before a Nyahururu court on Monday next week for a case in which he is implicated with possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Two other domestic violence charges and threatening to kill were withdrawn when his wife and another watchman dropped their charges against the twice Chicago Marathon winner in February.

In January, Wanjiru was also involved in a car accident on the Nairobi-Nyahururu road with rolling his four wheel drive vehicle several times while trying to avoid an oncoming truck.

He later withdrew from April's Virgin London Marathon with a knee problem.

Wanjiru won the Olympic marathon title in Beijing in 2008 with a 2:06:32 championship record after making his breakthrough at the 2007 Fukuoka Marathon.

He ran his 2:05:10 career best at the 2009 London marathon in addition to being the first double winner of the World Marathon Majors.

Between 2005 and 2007, Wanjiru twice held the world half marathon record.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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