Kenyan Authorities Arrest Two Suspects in Connection with Olympic Runner Benjamin Kiplagat’s Tragic Murder

ELDORET, Kenya – Ugandan Olympian Benjamin Kiplagat was tragically killed in a stabbing incident in a car in Kenya on New Year’s Eve. The police reported that Kiplagat’s body was discovered early Sunday in his brother’s car on the outskirts of Eldoret, a high-altitude town in western Kenya known for being a training hub for top athletes. World Athletics, the international governing body for the sport, expressed sympathy and condolences for the loss of Kiplagat.

Known for his expertise in the men’s steeplechase, Kiplagat had been a steady competitor since he started representing Uganda. He participated in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics, achieving his highest finish of 9th place in the Beijing Olympics. Throughout his career, Kiplagat earned three medals for Uganda, including a bronze in the 2012 African Championships in Porto Novo. He also earned a silver medal at the 2008 World Junior Championships and helped his team win a bronze at the 2008 World Cross Country Championships.

Authorities have made two arrests in connection with Kiplagat’s murder. Moiben sub-county police commander Stephen Okal disclosed that one of the suspects was found with a knife, believed to have been used in Kiplagat’s murder. The police suggest robbery as the likely motive, citing the robbery of money and a cell phone from Kiplagat.

The tragic death of Kiplagat adds to a series of athlete killings in the region, making it the fourth murder. In 2021, two-time World Championships bronze medalist and senior-level cross-country world champion, Agnes Tirop, was fatally stabbed at her residence in Iten. Her husband is currently facing trial for her murder. In 2022, the decomposed body of Damaris Muthee, a Kenyan-born Bahraini runner, was discovered at a male Ethiopian athlete’s house who is the prime suspect in her death but has not been arrested. Additionally, Rwandan runner Rubayita Siragi was murdered in August, with police suspecting a conflict with another athlete as the cause.

This tragic loss is another blow to the athletic community and has raised concerns about the safety of athletes in the region. The motive behind the murders is still under investigation, and local authorities are working to ensure the safety and security of athletes.