Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sammy Wanjiru, 1986 - 2011
You may remember Samuel Wanjiru from the 2008 Olympics, where he won the marathon in 2:06:32, an amazing time given the 80 degrees plus temperatures in Beijing that day. Wanjiru was the one who had lived and trained in Japan, and who spoke fluent Japanese, if that rings a bell. I remember his big smile after the race.
Away from his Olympic triumph, Wanjiru also won the Chicago and London marathons, had a personal best at the distance of 2:05:10, and set a world record in the half marathon with a 58:33. He was considered a leading candidate to break Haile Gebrselassie's world record of 2:03:58 in the marathon.
Three days ago Wanjiru's wife evidently came home to find him in bed with another woman, and locked the two of them in the bedroom. Wanjiru then jumped from the second floor balcony and died from injuries incurred in the fall. Police are investigating his death as a possible suicide.
This seems a highly unlikely suicide. First of all, young, healthy, tough, heterosexually active millionaires generally don't kill themselves. And secondly, I've never heard of anyone who's tried to commit suicide by jumping from the second floor of a house.
Note to the Kenyan police: this is pretty obviously an accident.