Olympic Marathon Champion Sammy Wanjiru Dies
NAIROBI, Kenya — Kenyan Olympic marathon hampion Sammy Wanjiru committed suicide by jumping from a balcony shortly after a domestic dispute involving his wife and another woman, police said Monday. He was 24.
Wanjiru died late Sunday after jumping from a balcony at his home in the town of Nyahururu, in the Rift Valley, said John Mbijiwe, the police chief in Kenya’s Central Province.
“The fact of the matter is that Wanjiru committed suicide,” said national police spokesman Eric Kiraithe.
Wanjiru’s 11 p.m. suicide jump came shortly after an argument with his wife, said a police official who was not authorized to release the information and asked for anonymity.
Wanjiru, who had been drinking, was with another woman in his home and was discovered by his wife, the official said.
In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Wanjiru became the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in the marathon, finishing in an Olympic-record 2 hours, 6 minutes, 32 seconds.
Wanjiru had a history of domestic problems. Last December, he was charged with wounding his security guard with a rifle and threatening to kill his wife and maid. The runner denied all charges and was released on bail.
Wanjiru was the youngest runner to win four major marathons. In addition to the Olympics, he won in London in 2009 and in Chicago in 2009 and 2010.
He pulled out of the London Marathon in April because of a right knee injury.