Tag Archives: Caroline Chepkoech

Agnes Tirop special report: A confession note, knife and wooden club – the tragic tale of a rising star

In the family living room, the television on which Agnes Tirop’s 95-year-old grandfather used to watch his talented granddaughter compete was now the one broadcasting her funeral.

A portrait of the smiling young woman, who just two weeks earlier had set a world record for a 10,000 metre race in Germany, sat next to it, beneath a pile of red and white roses.

Agnes Tirop with Her estranged husband who is the main murder suspect. PHOTO: COURTESY

Agnes’s funeral took place on Oct 23, the same day she would have turned 26. Under a white gazebo with ribbons in the colours of the Kenyan flag, thousands of mourners, including top athletes and government officials, gathered near her parents’ home in Nandi County – known as the “source of champions” for its reputation in producing the world’s best runners – to bid the athlete farewell.

Agnes, who was found stabbed to death at home in the Rift Valley of western Kenya, was a rising star in the country’s highly competitive running circuit, finishing fourth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics.

Agnes Tirop Killer Husband To Be Detained for 20 More Days. PHOTO: COURTESY

“It’s just crazy because I still picture her running that race in Germany when we were all cheering for her,” said Viola Cheptoo Lagat, sister of Bernard Lagat and an athlete in her own right, who watched Agnes’s record-breaking final win.

“She was really happy as she had achieved one of her life goals to break a world record. Now she had big dreams.”

While a police investigation is still ongoing, Tirop’s partner, Ibrahim Rotich – reportedly 20 years her senior – is in custody and the main suspect, according to the region’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Andolo Munga. “The autopsy report and the suspect’s confession note, together with the murder weapons – a knife and a wooden club (rungu), have given us overwhelming evidence, which points to murder,” he told the Nation.

Friends and family say they had recently learnt of Rotich’s emotional, physical and financial abusive behaviour towards Agnes.

“After she came back from the Olympics, Agnes moved back home, as she told us this man [Rotich] had slapped her and threatened to break her legs with a rungu,” said Vincent Tirop, father of Agnes. “We told her to stay home and train, so every morning she’d run on that road outside,” he said, pointing to a rust-coloured track.

But as rainy season descended, the dirt road became a mudslide, Agnes decided to move 38 miles north to the Kenya Athletics training camp in Iten to prepare for her next race. Iten is also the town where she shared a home with Rotich. “We thought she would be safe there because the coach told us there were security guards watching over the grounds,” Vincent added.

‘I did not see Agnes, I thought she was asleep’

 On the cool evening of Oct 11, Evelyn Tirop, the late athlete’s younger sister, who is also a runner, said Rotich arrived at the camp with a male friend requesting to see Agnes.

“Agnes told me they were forcing her to go back with them, so I accompanied her to his homestead,” said Evelyn, 20, who says she was concerned for her sister’s safety after learning of the abuse. “But they looked happy and he didn’t show any issues, so I went to sleep in the next room.”

The following morning, Evelyn woke early and found Rotich in the living room. She said he had a strange request: that she should go to the butcher to buy meat.

“It was only 7.30 in the morning, so I told him I could go later because I had to collect my certificate [from school],” she said. “I did not see Agnes, I thought she was asleep.”

Later that day, Evelyn says she received a call from Rotich telling her not to return to the house, as he and Agnes would be taking a trip to Nairobi. When she asked to speak with her sister, Rotich told her she was unavailable.

When she reached her parents’ village, Evelyn received another call, this time from a cousin of Rotich, who asked if she knew the whereabouts of Agnes because she and Rotich had had an altercation. An unease filled her stomach and the young girl tried phoning her sister multiple times, but the line was off.

Evelyn and her parents decided to report Agnes as missing to the Iten Police station. The next morning, Agnes was found dead, laying in a pool of blood.

Agnes’s closest friend and fellow athlete, Caroline Chepkoech, said she learnt of the news on her way back from the Boston Marathon. “I was shocked,” said the former African junior champion, “She was done with this guy; I don’t know how he convinced her to go back.”

Peres Jepchirchir said Agnes had opened up about the abuse after Jepchirchir, the Olympic marathon champion, questioned why she had missed a recent athletics marketing event. “She told me she had been injured by her boyfriend and showed me photos of her ear swollen,” said the 28-year-old. “She also showed me some photos of her boyfriend spending money in clubs with ladies.

She realised he was using her money in a bad way, so she decided to stop supporting him and he became very angry.”

“He was very jealous and controlling,” Cheptoo Lagat added. “He was draining her of her money, her energy and her spirit.”

‘She was like a mum to a lot of girls’

 Friends describe Agnes as a religious person, who loved gospel music and dancing in church.

She was passionate about education, said Cheptoo Lagat, even though she had not been able to continue her own studies, and paid for the school fees of several local children. “She was like a mum to a lot of girls in the village,” she said. “They looked up to her as she had nothing growing up, and now, she was a world-class athlete.”

Agnes Tirops displays her 10km World Record shoe

Kenya Athletics along with the government of Nandi County, family and friends, are creating a foundation in Agnes Tirop’s name to help victims of domestic violence, as well as setting up scholarships for girls.

“We’re going to raise our voices. We will not let her death be in vain,” said Cheptoo Lagat. “Everywhere she went she drew people close to her because of her warmth and her spirit and we want to honour her memory.”

Source: telegraph.co.uk/

Monicah Ngige and Caroline Chepkoech make their marathon debut in Boston

Kenya’s Monicah Ngige will be making her marathon debut at the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon that will be held from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, October 11 in Boston.

The 27 year-old who has 14 career wins had great success on the roads of Boston in 2019, winning the B.A.A. 5K, finishing third at the B.A.A. Half Marathon, and sixth at the B.A.A. 10K.

Ngige comes to this race with a personal best of 1:07.29 that she got in 2019 at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, where she finished in fourth place.

Ngige will face another debutant Kenyan born but now trading for Kazakhstan Caroline Chepkoech.

Chepkoech is a two times African champion who is trained by two coaches Ken Rotich from Kenya and Richards Anderson from the United States. She holds a personal best of 1:05.07 that she got at the 2018 Ras Al Khaimah International Half Marathon. This time placed her as the fourth fastest female half marathoner of all time.

The two will face seven international athletes who have run sub-2:22 during their careers led by Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese (2:19.36), Mare Dibaba (2:19.52), Workenesh Edesa (2:20.24), Sutume Kebede (2:20.30), and Sutume Kebede (2:20.30). The top Kenyans are Ednah Kiplagat, the 2017 women’s race champion (2:19.50), and Helah Kiprop (2:21.27).

Helah Kiprop to battle Ednah Kiplagat at the Boston Marathon

Former World Athletics Championships silver medallist, Helah Kiprop will battle for the top honors at the 125th edition of the Boston Marathon that will be held on October 11th in Boston, Massachusetts

Kiprop who competed at the virtual Boston marathon last year, has intensified her training in Iten under head coach David Marus.

She will battle for the pole position with the likes off with 2013 World Champion Ednah Kiplagat, Diana Chemtai, Purity Changwony, Caroline Chepkoech and Monica Wanjiru.

“My training is going on well with hopes of earning good results in Boston after a very long time out of competition due to maternity leave,” said Kiprop.

She last competed at the 2018 Tokyo marathon where she finished 5th and she is set to make her return with a bang.

“It has been a while since I competed in a race and this time, I hope I will run well and am strong after three years out of competition but that has not killed my spirit. Am training more to ensure I get good results,” added Kiprop.

The former Tokyo Marathon champion competed at the Eldoret City marathon in June to gauge her form in preparations for the races ahead.

“I competed at the Eldoret City marathon not for the prize but to gauge my speed and form. I decided not to finish and realized I was fit for bigger races,” said Kiprop.

Commenting on her virtual Boston marathon, she said that the race was not that competitive since she ran alone in the virtual relays.

Kiprop was 7th and 4th at the London and Berlin marathon in 2017 and 2013 respectively, which are part of the world marathon majors.

Edna Kiplagat leads the elite field at Boston Marathon

The 2017 Boston marathon winner Edna Kiplagat from Kenya who is now based in United States will lead the women elite field at the 125th Boston Marathon that will be held from Hopkinton to Boston on Monday, October 11 in Boston.

This will be the first-ever fall edition of the Boston Marathon which will feature more than 140 elite athletes across all divisions including dozens of Americans, the Boston Athletic Association and John Hancock Financial jointly announced today.

The Organizers of the world’s oldest marathon, which could not be held as an in-person event in 2020 due to the pandemic and the local authorities, have permitted a field of 20,000 runners, and up to 70,000 more will run a virtual edition of the race. An $876,500 prize money purse will be on offer, the second largest in the history of the race.

Tom Grilk who is the B.A.A. president and CEO said, “In October, many of the world’s best athletes will look to etch their names in the history books by winning the Boston Marathon, We very much look forward to October’s competition, bringing together winners from more than one hundred global marathons. The B.A.A. is eager to continue the tradition of athletic excellence as we return to the roads leading to Boston.”

As usual the elite field in the open divisions is dominated by Africans. On the women’s side, eight international athletes have run sub-2:22 during their careers led by Ethiopia’s Yebrgual Melese (2:19:36), Mare Dibaba (2:19:52), Workenesh Edesa (2:20:24), Sutume Kebede (2:20:30), and Sutume Kebede (2:20:30). The top Kenyans are Kiplagat, the 2017 women’s race champion (2:19:50), and Helah Kiprop (2:21:27). Caroline Chepkoech, a former Kenyan who now runs for Kazakhstan, is making her debut.

The top American women are Jordan Hasay (2:20:57), Des Linden (2:22:38), and Molly Huddle (2:26:33). Hasay made her marathon debut at Boston in 2017, finishing third in 2:23:00. Linden has run Boston seven times and won the wet, cold and windy edition in 2018 (she was also second in 2011). Like Linden, Huddle ran Boston in 2018 and finished 13th. Ten of the 27 elite women who started that year dropped out.

The two defending champions, Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono and Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa, are not in this year’s elite field.

 International Women:

Yebrgual Melese   (ETH), 2:19:36

Edna Kiplagat        (KEN), 2:19:50

Mare Dibaba          (ETH), 2:19:52

Workenesh Edesa (ETH), 2:20:24

Sutume Kebede    (ETH),  2:20:30

Besu Sado             (ETH), 2:21:03

Helah Kiprop         (KEN), 2:21:27

Bedatu Hirpa         (ETH), 2:21:32

Atsede Baysa        (ETH), 2:22:03

Diana Chemtai      (KEN), 2:22:06

Biruktayit Eshetu   (ETH), 2:22:40

Tigist Abayechew  (ETH), 2:22:45

Purity Changwony (KEN), 2:22:46

Caroline Rotich          (KEN), 2:23:22

Mary Ngugi                (KEN), 2:27:36

Shiho Kaneshige       (JPN),  2:28:51

Netsanet Gudeta        (ETH), 2:29:15

Kellys Arias                (COL), 2:29:36

Tish Jones                 (GBR), 2:31:00

Brittany Moran        (CAN), 2:36:22

Marie-Ange Brumelot (FRA), 2:36:23

Caroline Chepkoech    (KAZ), Debut (1:05:07 Half)

Monicah Ngige             (KEN), Debut (1:07:29 Half)





Caroline Chepkoech equals Lornah Kiplagat record as she lifts Falmouth Road Race title

Kenya’s Caroline Chepkoech breezed to her third-straight victory in the New Balance Falmouth Road Race that was held on Sunday (19) in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

The 24-year-old displayed a quiet confidence at the road race’s media event on Friday, August 17, only offering that she “felt good” before letting out a wry smile to the crowd at the Casino Wharf in Falmouth Heights.

After staying in the pack throughout the first three miles—easily the hilliest portion of the course—to cut down on wind resistance, Chepkoech pulled away over the final four miles. A few-foot lead quickly turned into a few hundred yards. Her closest competition, Margaret Wangari also from Kenya, faded in the distance behind every turn.

Chepkoech joined fellow Kenyan Lornah Kiplagat (2000-2002) as the only women to win the road race in three straight years when she cut the tape in 35:48, 46 seconds behind Kiplagat’s course record of 35:02, which was set in 2000, and nearly a minute ahead of Wangari  who crossed the line in 36:43.

“I’m very happy for winning this race. I’m so happy,” Chepkoech said following her win. “I want to say thank you to my family, my husband and all my teammates. Thank you so much.”

Another Kenyan Mary Wacera, closed the first podium three finishes in 37:17.

Chepkoech pocketed a cool $10,000 first-place prize and narrowly missed out on the bonus $5,000 from The Countdown, awarded to the top elite runner, male or female.