The tragic killing of Olympian Agnes Tirop yesterday casts a dark shadow on the safety of Kenya’s female athletes in their marriages and relationships, high ranking Athletics Kenya (AK) officials have said.
Tirop’s lifeless body, riddled with stab wounds, was found in her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet county in suspected homicide.
Tirop, 25, was part of the triumphant Kenyan contingent to this year’s delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she represented the country in the 5,000m race and finished 4th in the final.
Yesterday, grieving AK Athlete’s Representative Milka Chemos and women Committee member Elizabeth Keitany said “a majority of Kenya’s female athletes are in abusive relationships, but afraid of coming out.”
“They are endangered species,” Keitany, the AK women Committee member, said. “The challenge is they won’t speak up out of fear. Some of them got into relations out of genuine love but in reality they don’t know what they get into,” Keitany said.
“We always get reports of quite a number of them in abusive marriages, but they don’t open up,” Keitany said.
Chemos, the World champion in 3000m steeplechase, and now athlete’s representative, said they spoke with Tirop as recent as Monday afternoon. “We spoke about many things, little did I know tragedy was on her way,” Chemos said.
“There are several athletes among them top athletes that I know, who are in abusive relations but they lack the courage to go public about it,” she said.
“AK has been planning for a seminar for the female athletes, a forum where we hope they would open up on their relationships. We need to rally behind the female athletes because, honestly there is a lot most of them are going through,” Chemos said.
Keitany and Chemos called on the female athletes to stop suffering in silence.
“Once an athlete is in a relationship, there is nothing we or even the government can do about it. However, they should be alive to the dangers of staying in abusive relationships,” Keitany said.
“Perhaps the only help we can seek now from government is to facilitate seminars for the female athletes where they can learn some life skills and how to react in situations that otherwise lead to bigger problems later,” Keitany said.
President Uhuru Kenya described the killing of Tirop as, “Unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad.”
“We’ve lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, she 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 in Japan,” the President eulogised.
2022 World 7s: Kenya Sevens To Face USA In Dubai 7s Opener At 9am
Kenya Sevens are going to be hoping to come out in the 2022 World 7s Series season on a high note as they play USA at the Dubai Sevens on Friday from 9am East African time.
The World Sevens Series will commence with 12 teams set to require part within the Dubai opening leg tournament slated for Sevens Stadium.
Core sides New Zealand, Samoa are still missing while England, Wales, and Scotland will play the primary two tournaments as Great Britain. Fiji, Australia, and France are back after missing the shortened 2021 Series.
After facing USA within the morning, Shujaa will then face Argentina at 1:30 PM and their final match are at 4:02 PM against Spain as they seek to duplicate the 2021 performance that saw them achieve a podium finish within the shortened series.
The team finished third overall within the abridged 2021 Sevens playoff in Canada, reaching the final where they lost to African nation before securing a 3rd place finish at the second leg in Edmonton.
Olympic Gold Medalist Fiji return after missing the 2021 World 7s Series and are pooled alongside returning Australia, Canada and France.
The final Pool has 2021 Series Champions Republic of South Africa who will tackle Ireland, Great Britain and Japan, who were promoted as HSBC World Rugby Challenger Series champions in 2020.
Great Britain will participate within the opening two rounds of the Series in Dubai, as a part of the standing agreement to play the year 2021, before reverting to compete as national unions for the rest of the 2022 Series, with England, Scotland and Wales participating within the men’s Series and England within the women’s series.
The 16 men’s core teams after the Dubai events are Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, Republic of South Africa, Spain, USA and Wales.
The 11 core women’s teams after the Dubai events are Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and USA.
Two men’s and one women’s teams are going to be relegated from the 2022 Series, to make sure a pathway for teams to be promoted from the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.
Dubai 7s Fixtures
Kenya vs USA-9am
Kenya vs Argentina-1.30pm
Kenya vs Spain-4pm
Kipchoge Among Five Finalists For 2021 Male World Athlete Of The Year
Marathon world record holder and two-time Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge is among five finalists for the 2021 Male World Athlete of the Year.
On Monday evening, World Athletics announced the five male athletes, who are representing five different countries.
Kipchoge was named Male Athlete of the Year for two years in a row; in 2018, after setting the 2:01:39 World Record and in 2019 when he entered into the annals of history as the only human being to run under two hours in a marathon at the INEOS 1:59 challenge in Vienna.
He timed 1:59:40.
According to World Athletics, the male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced at the WA Awards 2021, which will take place virtually on December 1.
World Athletics also named 5000m Olympic champion and world record holder (in both 5000m and 10,000m) Joshua Cheptegei of Uganda.
Cheptegei also won 10,000m silver for his country at the Tokyo Olympics. He also recorded a world-leading 8:09.55 for two miles.
Pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis of Sweden who was named Male Athlete of 2020 has also been named as a 2021 finalist. He is an Olympic, Diamond League and European indoor pole vault champion.
“The five athletes, who represent five countries from three area associations, have produced some exceptional performances across a range of athletics disciplines in 2021, at the Tokyo Olympic Games, one-day meeting circuits and other events around the world,” WA said in a statement.
Other finalists are US shot put athlete Ryan Crouser, also an Olympic champion, and Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who won 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
“The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans voted online via the World Athletics social media platforms.
“The World Athletics Council’s vote counted for 50% of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25% of the final result. Voting closed on 6 November,” WA said.