NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Two men were arrested in connection with the killing of Ugandan Olympic runner Benjamin Kiplagat, who was found fatally stabbed in a car in Kenya on New Year’s Eve, police said Monday.
A knife suspected of being used in the killing of the 34-year-old Kiplagat was found on one of the suspects, Moiben sub county police commander Stephen Okal said. The motive for the killing appears to have been robbery, he said, because money and a cell phone had been taken from Kiplagat.
Kiplagat’s throat was cut, police said. He was found dead in his brother’s car early Sunday on the outskirts of Eldoret, a high-altitude town in western Kenya renowned as a training base for elite athletes.
Kiplagat competed in three Olympic games and six world championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He won a bronze medal at the 2012 African championships.
Kiplagat is the fourth athlete to be killed in the area in recent years.
Two-time cross country world champion Agnes Tirop was fatally stabbed in her home in the nearby town of Iten in 2021. Her husband is on trial charged with murder.
Kenyan-born Bahrain runner Damaris Muthee’s decomposing body was found at a male Ethiopian athlete’s house in 2022. The athlete is the main suspect in her death but has not been apprehended.
Rwandan runner Rubayita Siragi was killed in August in what police believe was a fight with another athlete over a woman.