Kenyan athlete succumbs to cancer in Baringo

Monica Chirchir

Monica Chirchir wins the Athletics Kenya’s North Rift Regional Cross County Championships 10km senior women’s race held at Ekalees Centre in Lodwar, Turkana County on January 18, 2020. Monica succumbed to Colon cancer on December 11, 2021.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Her death comes two months after the murder of 2015 World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop in Iten Elgeyo Marakwet County and Hosea Macharinyang, who committed suicide in West Pokot.
  • Burial arrangements are ongoing at her parents’ home in Kipkaech in Baringo County. 

The athletics fraternity has been thrown into mourning after 2019 African Games 10,000m finalist, Monica Chirchir, succumbed to Colon cancer in Kimalel, Baringo County last Saturday.

Chirchir, 23, had been battling the disease since last year and had stopped training.

She represented Kenya at the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco, finishing sixth in 10,000m in a time of 32:43.63. 

Her sister, Charity Chirchir, told Nation Sport that Monica died at the Kimalel Hospital in Baringo County.

“It’s sad that we lost my sister who was hard working and had shown good progress in her career. She was doing well until she started feeling unwell and it was later confirmed that it was cancer," said Charity.

She was born on December 6, 1998 and was the third born in a family of seven children.

Chirchir’s talent was identified while still at Kipkaech Secondary School and she managed to join St Patrick’s Junior Camp, which is under Bro Colm 'O' Connell in Iten.

Upon completing her high school education in 2017, she managed to continue with her training in Iten and competed in various competitions locally.

The camp's assistant coach, Ian Kiprono, said she was given permission to go back home for medical attention last year when she was diagnosed with cancer because it affected her training programme.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei condoled with the family, terming the death as unfortunate because she died at a young age when her career was just taking off.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei termed her death as unfortunate because she died at a young age when her career was just taking off.

“We want to condole with the family of our upcoming athlete who died and had shown good progress by participating in various competitions.

She also represented Kenya in the last Africa Games in Rabat, Morocco and she was the future of athletics and we want to pray for her family at this hard time,” said Tuwei.

Her death comes two months after the murder of 2015 World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop in Iten Elgeyo Marakwet County and Hosea Macharinyang, who committed suicide in West Pokot.

Burial arrangements are ongoing at her parents’ home in Kipkaech in Baringo County. 

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