Athletics Kenya names cross country race in honour of Tirop

Monday, October 25th, 2021 00:00 |
Agnes Tirop during the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. Photo/PD/File

Emmanuel Masinde

Athletics Kenya president Jackson Tuwei has revealed that the Kenyan leg of the World Cross Country tour will be named in honour of late Olympian Agnes Chebet Tirop.

Tuwei was speaking during the burial ceremony of the 2015 World Cross Country champion Tirop at her parents home  in Mosoriot  in Nandi county on Saturday and said Tirop was a promising athlete who had a bright future.

Tuwei disclosed that the Gold Tour meeting that will be held in Eldoret on February 12 will be known as Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross Country in honour of the athlete.

 The newly introduced World Cross Country Championships Tour will see elite athletes fly to Eldoret for the only African tour.

 Tirop became the second youngest athlete to ever win a World Cross Country title when she bagged the title in 2015.

 “We have chosen to name our World Cross Country Tour meet after Agnes who brought a lot of honour to our country,” said Tuwei.

 Tuwei regretted that Tirop, who was found dead in her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County last week,  lost her life when the world needed her most due to her brilliant performance.

 “We are mourning today because of gender-based violence which seems to be on the rise.

Tirop was a bright athlete and having started her career in 2012, she was destined for greater heights but someone ended her life in a crude manner,” said Tuwei.

 Tuwei said they are happy the matter is in court and hope justice will prevail.

 “We are happy because President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a directive and police acted swiftly where the suspect was arrested and the matter is in court and we hope justice will prevail,” added Tuwei.

 During the funeral world 10,000m record holder Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda conveyed condolences on behalf of the Ugandan athletics fraternity.

He asked Kenyan politicians to craft laws that secure the rights of athletes they  bring pride to the country. 

 The Cross Country Tour is expected to have stops in North America, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Europe and will incorporate many of the world’s biggest and most prestigious cross-country meetings that have been part of the Cross Country Permit series in recent years

Naming of the tour after the fallen star comes barely two weeks after AK named the event in favour of legend John Ngugi who had won the World Cross Country Championships five times, a decision the federation now clarified as being tentative.

“We have named the event after John Ngugi Cross Country Tour because he is a legend having won the World Cross Country five times,” AK senior vice president Paul Mutwii had earlier communicated.

Apart from the tour, next year’s World Athletics Continental Tour Gold — better known as Kip Keino Classic — will be held much earlier on May 7.

, unlike the past two editions held in October 2020 and September this year.

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