Monday, January 28, 2008

RIP Wesly Ngetich

via Down the Backstretch:

Race Results Weekly reports that two-time Grandma's Marathon champion Wesly Ngetich was killed today in the on-going violence that has followed Kenya's recent elections.

Ngetich won Grandma's last year and in 2005.

The violence in Ngetich's native Kenya had caused him to withdraw from the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon earlier this year.

The BBC offers THIS overview of the violent political situation in Kenya.

Ngetich is not the first runner to die in the Kenyan turmoil; former Olympic runner Lucas Sang was attacked and killed while walking home earlier this month.

Other runners fear for their lives after receiving death threats:

Some of Kenya’s most celebrated runners say they are receiving death threats because of rumors they are involved in the ethnic violence that has swept the nation following a disputed election.

Many were so worried they gathered from across the country this week in the western town of Eldoret, a running hub that has seen some of the worst violence,
to discuss how to respond. The meeting ended with a statement intended to dispel
the rumors.

During the meeting, William Mutwol, a bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 1992 Olympics, received another threat in a text message on his cell phone.

“We want your head,” the message said.

“I am scared. We are scared,” Moses Kiptanui, chairman of Athletics Kenya’s Marakwet branch, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday. “I have never engaged in politics. I am an ordinary guy. But I think Kenyans have now created a lot of enmity among themselves.”

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