What you need to know:
- Father describes star as the bread winner for the family
Agnes Jebet Tirop personally supported several of her training mates with basic needs, the late distance running champion’s relatives recollected on Thursday.
Tirop is believed to have been murdered by her now fugitive husband on Tuesday night at their home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.
The fallen star’s pacemakers on Thursday gave account of their last moments with Tirop before the former 10-kilometre road race world record holder met her death under mysterious circumstances.
Tirop’s brother Martin Kimurgor Tirop, who was also her pacemaker, disclosed that his sister had supported three athletes who used to aid her in training sessions.
Kimurgor said his sister had urged him to train seriously for one week to prepare for the Kisumu 10km Heart Run that took place last Sunday.
“I spoke to my sister a week before that I would be heading to Kisumu for a race and she gave me her blessings, and I trained hard for the race. After the race on Sunday, she called me asking about the race which I answered her before she hanged up,” said Kimurgor.
He further said that was the last time they spoke. Kimurgor said Tirop had also asked him to join her team of pacemakers for training. The other pacemakers were Isaac Lelei, Victor Koilel and Edward Mberia whose financial needs Tirop used to cater for.
Kimurgor started training with his sister in 2018 and she has been paying his rent and taking care of his basic needs, including buying food for him.
“My sister was hardworking and she made sure that we get everything that will make us comfortable during training including facilities which she would always request for us from the management. We don’t know what to do next,” said Kimurgor.
World record time
Kimurgor also alleged that upon arrival from the Tokyo Olympics last month, Tirop was beaten up by her husband which prompted her to travel away from her Iten training base to her home in Nandi County to prepare for a road race in Germany.
She subsequently won the 10km race at the “Adizero Road to Records” championships at sportswear giants Adidas’ headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, in a world record time of 30 minutes and one second on September 12. Koilel said he was with Tirop at their rural home in Chesunet Village last Saturday and that she left on Sunday morning in a taxi.
She asked him to meet at Iten and upon arriving that evening, he waited for the training programme which is normally shared via WhatsApp. But it was not shared and when he tried to call her, her phone was off.
He later met Tirop at the Iten training camp, where she was residing since she came back from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
She was packing her bags, preparing to go back home. Her sister Everlyn Chepngetich, who is also her training mate, joined her as they went back to their home.
“I was really worried when I found Agnes packing and I asked her where she was going and she told me that she was going back to their home. That was the last time I saw her and things moved fast until she was found dead in her house,” said Koilel, who started training with her in 2018.
Her father, Vincent Tirop, said he has lost a hard working girl who wanted to see her family doing well.
“My girl was not only hardworking, but also the bread winner for the family though she was not in close contact because the alleged husband had created a big wedge between us,” said her father.