Beijing Olympic winner dies after balcony fall

Samuel Wanjiru (AFP Photo / Getty Images)
The world of athletics has been rocked by tragedy as Olympic Marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru was found dead after falling from a balcony at his home in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Police say they are investigating whether it was suicide or an accident.

It is alleged that the 24-year-old had been involved in a domestic dispute with his wife and another woman.

Wanjiru secured his country’s first-ever gold medal in the Olympic marathon of 2008, setting a world record in the process.

He followed that up by winning the London and Chicago marathons setting course marks during both events.

The endurance runner was charged with assault, illegal possession of an AK-47 rifle and threatening to kill his wife in December.

"As an athletics nation, we looked forward to a sterling performance in the Olympic Games in London next year," Prime Minister Raila Odinga said in an emailed statement. "Wanjiru was one of our sure bets for gold in the upcoming contest. His death is therefore a big blow to our dreams."

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