Police officers in Eldoret have revealed the final moments of Kenyan-born athlete Benjamin Kiplagat who was found dead along the road on his way home in Kimumu on Sunday.
Speaking to the media, Moiben Sub-County Police Commandant Stephen Okal noted that the athlete was heading home in the wee hours of Sunday morning before the incident occurred.
Kiplagat, who was driving a black Toyota Hilux, was intercepted by a motorcycle which is believed to have blocked his route.
Moments later, the athlete knocked down the motorcycle and thereafter the riders are suspected to have committed the crime and fled the scene, leaving the motorcycle behind.
Benjamin Kiplagat competes in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Okal noted that the officers were notified of an accident involving a motor vehicle and a motorcycle in the Kimumu area at around 5:00 am, only to find a deceased body in the driver’s seat.
The body, according to the officer, had multiple stab wounds on the chest and neck.
Born and bred in Elgeyo Marakwet, Kiplagat had changed his nationality to Uganda and represented the country in global competitions, stamping his dominance in the men’s 3,000-metre Steeplechase event.
In December, the athlete was training in Iten in preparation for the upcoming athletics events slated for 2024.
Following the incident, Peter Ogwang, State Minister for Sports in Uganda, sent his deepest condolences to Kiplagat’s family.
“I am saddened to hear about the death of our athlete, Benjamin Kiplagat who was reportedly murdered in Kenya,” he stated.
“I send my deepest condolences to his family, Ugandans, and the entire East Africa for the loss of such a budding athlete who has on several occasions represented us on the international scene. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Further, World Athletics issued a statement, expressing similar sentiments to the athletics fraternity.
“World Athletics is shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Benjamin Kiplagat. We send our deepest condolences to his friends, family, teammates and fellow athletes. Our thoughts are with them all at this difficult time,” the global athletics governing body stated.
Athletes taking part in the 2016 Rio Olympics.