What you need to know:
- While holding a giant banner with "End Gender Based Violence" and Tirop's images emblazoned on it, the message was clear - the athletics fraternity is fed up with the domestic squabbles that have now taken on of the country's rising stars.
- Tirop, who was found dead in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County last week, will be buried on Saturday in her parent's home in Kapnyamisa Village, Mosoriot, Nandi County.
Thousands of athletes, coaches and residents on Friday brought business in Eldoret town to a standstill during the procession in honour of the late former World Cross Country champion Agnes Tirop.
While holding a giant banner with the phrase "End Gender Based Violence" and Tirop's images emblazoned on it, the message was clear - the athletics fraternity is fed up with the domestic squabbles that have now taken one of the country's rising stars.
Tirop, who was found dead in her home in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County last week, will be buried on Saturday in her parent's home in Kapnyamisa Village, Mosoriot, Nandi County.
Police have said that Tirop's husband, Ibrahim Rotich, is the main suspect in the murder of the two-time World Championships medallist. He was arrested last week on Friday in Mombasa and has since been in custody awaiting trial.
After a brief prayer session and viewing of the body at the Eldoret Hospital Mortuary, the mourners, led by hundreds of world beaters, took to the streets of Eldoret in a procession that lasted close to two hours.
Former world champions Julius Yego (Javelin), Janeth Jepkosgei (800metres), Milcah Chemos (3000m steeplechase), Eunice Sum (800m), three-time London Marathon champion Mary Keitany led from the front.
Former Berlin Marathon champion Gladys Cherono, marathoners Joan Chelimo, Lawrence Cherono, Caroline Chepkwony were also among the athletes who came out to mourn their departed compatriot.
Two-time Olympics marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, his training mate Jonathan Korir, former Olympics 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, former 800m world champion Alfred Kirwa were also at the mortuary.
The procession ended at 11:38am at Rivatex, along Kisumu Road in Eldoret town, before they proceeded to Kapnyamisa Primary School in Nandi Couny where the requime mass will be held from 12:30pm.
Tirop was born on October 23, 1995, in Ndubeneti Olbutenet village in Nandi County and she was the seventh born child of Vincent Tirop and Dinah Jepkoech Tirop.
She began her education at Olbutenet Primary School in the year 2000 until 2014 when she joined Kosirai Secondary School in Ngeria, Uasin Gishu County before transferring to Moi University Secondary School in Kesses.
Her athletics career started when she was at a tender age in primary school which saw her record wins while in standard four, she competed in the Tuigoin Cross Country Championships where she emerged a winner and was gifted with a lamb.
This motivated her and she performed in inter-schools competition and she qualified for the National School Games.
She won the 5,000m race but unfortunately, did not proceed internationally.
With the help of family members, who are also athletes, namely Meshack Kipsongok and Robert Tirop and coached by Joakim Mitei, she was able to compete in various cross country events which sharpened her leading to a chance to participate in Africa Cross Country Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, where she emerged second behind Faith Chepng’etich.
Her good performance attracted sportswear firm Nike as sponsors and, with the help former 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, she managed to join Rosa Associati Management in 2011 before changing her management to Adidas under Gianni Demadonna as her manager and Nahashon Kibon as an advisor.
In 2012 she was in the team that headed to Barcelona, Spain, for the World Junior Championships where she bagged bronze medal in the 5,000m race before bagging a silver during the 2013 World Cross Country Championships in the junior category.
Her persistence in the cross country events saw her perform well during the Africa Cross Country Championships in Kampala in which she bagged victory in the junior category before bagging bronze medal in the World Junior Championships in 5,000m in Eugene, USA.
Her star would shine when she became the second youngest athlete in history to win the senior World Cross Country Championships title in the senior category in Guiyang, China, in 2015.
In 2017 during the World Cross Country Championships, she was among the Kenyans who took the first six positions with Tirop emerging fifth in a race won by Irene Cheptai before winning bronze during the World Championships in London the same year.
In 2019, she was in the team that headed to the World Championships in Doha, Qatar where she again bagged a bronze medal in the 10,000m race.
During the Athletics Kenya National Olympic Trials at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani this year, Tirop booked herself a ticket to the Tokyo Games after emerging third in the 5,000m race behind winner Lilian Kasait and second-placed Obiri.
Upon her return from the Olympics, she broke the women-only world record for 10km last month, clocking 30:01 in Herzogenaurach, Germany in September a record that was later broken by Bahrain’s Kalkidan Gezahegne last two weeks in Switzerland.
The world has mourned Tirop with President Uhuru Kenyatta also paying tribute to the champion.
"It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we've lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, had brought our country so much glory through her exploits on the global athletics stage including in this year's 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she was part of the Kenyan team," said President Kenyatta.