15 August 2018

Kenya: Thousands Turn Up to Pay Last Respects to Fallen Hurdler

Photo: Jared Nyataya/Daily Nation
Police carry a casket bearing the remains of the late Nicholas Bett, former World 400m hurdles champion, on arrival at their home in Simat, Uasin Gishu County, as Bett’s wife Gladys Bett second (right) and mother Esther Boit follow on August 15, 2018.

A sombre mood engulfed Eldoret town on Wednesday as the hearse carrying the body of the late former 400m hurdles world champion Nicholas Bett snaked its way through the town.

The body left Eldoret Hospital mortuary at noon and was escorted by family, friends, colleagues from the National Police Service and the entire athletic community to his final resting place in Simat village, Uasin Gishu County.

Residents turned up in large numbers to pay their last respects to the fallen hero along the streets.

Kapseret Member of Parliament Oscar Sudi was among leaders from the region who arrived at the mortuary to pay his last respects to Bett.

Bett, who died last week following a tragic road accident, will be buried at his Simat home in Uasin Gishu County on Thursday.

Tears as athletes, family pay their final respects to Bett

Among those who have arrived at the morgue to pay their last respects to Bett, 28, include Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, former World 1500m world champion Asbel Kiprop, former 800m world champions Janet Jepkosgei and Eunice Sum, Sally Kipyego (marathoner), former 5000m world junior champion Augustine Choge among others.

Bett, who was a police officer based at the Kondele Police station in Kisumu County, will be accorded the ceremonial police send off by his former comrades.

Dressed in their ceremonial attire, the officers arrived on Wednesday morning at the morgue to escort the deceased.

Bett's body was escorted in a state of the art hearse.

By the time of going to press, it is not yet confirmed whether Deputy President William Ruto will be among top government officials who will attend the burial.

The burial of Bett was brought forward from Friday to Thursday following a request from the family.

Athletics Kenya Central Rift Branch chairman Abraham Mutai said the family had confirmed the change of burial date.

Bett had landed a deal with Fenerbahce Istanbul in Turkey.

He went to Simat Primary School before joining Paul Boit High School where they were transferred to Cheptil High School before getting an opportunity to serve in the National Police Service.

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