On Monday, Kenyan police announced the arrest of two individuals in connection with the fatal stabbing of Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat over the weekend.
Two men believed to be in their 30s, were apprehended on the outskirts of the Rift Valley town of Eldoret, as confirmed by local police commander Stephen Okal on Monday.
Okal stated, “The two suspects are known criminals who have been terrorizing the members of the public… We are in the advanced stage of the investigations and we will possibly be sending them to court tomorrow,” in an interview with Media.
The Kenyan-born athlete had proudly represented Uganda in three Olympic Games and took part in six world championships, leaving a lasting impact on the world of athletics. Benjamin Kiplagat’s notable achievements include reaching the semi-finals of the 2012 London Olympics in the 3,000m steeplechase.
The 34-year-old’s body was discovered in a car on Saturday night, displaying a deep knife wound to his neck.
Although the motive for the killing remained unknown, police revealed that investigations indicated Kiplagat had been “waylaid” by the two men before colliding with their motorcycle with his car. Okal commented, “This probably provoked them into that violent act,” referring to the stabbing.
One of the suspects was apprehended with a knife believed to have been used in the killing.
Eldoret, known for being home to numerous athletes training in the high-altitude region, mourns the loss of an athlete whose career spanned about 18 years. Kiplagat won the silver medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2008 World Junior Championships and bronze at the Africa Championships in 2012. He made the semi-finals of the event at the 2012 Olympics in London and also competed in Rio in 2016.
Kiplagat’s tragic death follows the killing in October 2021 of Kenyan distance running star Agnes Tirop, found stabbed to death at the age of 25 in her home at Iten, a training hub near Eldoret.