NAIROBI: Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat has been stabbed to death in Kenya, police said on Sunday.
The Kenyan-born Kiplagat, 34, had internationally represented Uganda in the 3,000m steeplechase, including World Championships and at several Olympic Games.
According to police his body was found in a car on the outskirts of the Rift Valley town of Eldoret. The town is home to many world class athletes who train in the high-altitude area.
Local police commander Stephen Okal told media that an investigation has been launched in the case.
He said Kiplagat’s body had a deep knife wound at his neck, that suggested he was stabbed.
According to local media outlets in Uganda and Kenya said the athlete had been stabbed to death.
World Athletics saddened over Kiplagat’s death
The global athletics governing body in a statement on X, formerly Twitter said World Athletics is saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Benjamin Kiplagat.
It also offered deepest condolences to Kiplagat’s family and friends, teammates and fellow athletes.
Peter Ogwang, Uganda’s state minister for sports has also expressed similar sentiments on X.
He said the death of Kiplagat is a big loss for not only Uganda but entire East Africa as he was budding athlete who on several occasions represented Africa on the international scene.
As per media reports Kiplagat had been training in the Eldoret area before going to Uganda to participate in athletics competitions.
Kiplagat, during her 18 years career, won the silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2008 World Junior Championships and bronze at the Africa Championships in 2012.
He qualified to the semi-finals of the event in the 2012 Olympics in London and also competed in Rio Olympics in 2016.