Kenya: 10 Years Later, Athlete Samuel Wanjiru's Family Focuses on Inquest

The tenth anniversary of the death of Olympic marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru went by without much activity.

Wanjiru is said to have died after falling from the balcony of his home in Muthaiga Estate, Nyahururu, on May 15, 2011.

In October, 2015 a multi-million shilling emergency unit at the Nyahururu County Referral hospital was built in his honour through the partnership of the national government and Laikipia County.

The idea for the medical facility came after the athlete died at the hospital as doctors made frantic efforts to save his life.

No visits

Previously, hundreds of people would visit the grave in Nyandarua West to celebrate the life of the Olympics marathon record holder and two-time Chicago Marathon winner.

Fellow athletes would also organise road activities in his honour.

It was different this year as not even family members laid flowers at his mausoleum.

A visit to Equator in Nyandarua West, where the Olympian was buried and a mausoleum built, found the compound deserted and just an empty zero-grazing structure standing conspicuously next to the mausoleum.

"It is Wanjiru's only brother Simon Njoroge and his wife who live here. We did not have any activities, not even his wife who frequents the home around this month visited," said a neighbour.

Mr Peter Maina, another neighbour, said Wanjiru's aging mother, who had been visiting the gravesite, was also absent.

Solomon Wachira, a former athlete, told the Nation that an annual event was stopped due to poor organisation and management.

Death inquest

Wanjiru's mother Hanna Wanjiru and his widow Triza Njeri said they were focused on the death inquest taking place at a Nairobi court.

The inquest that has taken almost eight years so far, with the hearings now postponed to August.

The hearings opened on January 9, 2013 at the Milimani Law Courts after a Nyahururu court allowed an application by Ms Wanjiru for the inquest to take place in Nairobi as per orders of the High Court in Nakuru.

Wanjiru was born on November 10, 1986 and specialised in long distance running, going professional at the age of 18.

He broke several records including the Olympic marathon, at which he clocked 2:06.32.

While winning in London and twice in Chicago, he recorded the fastest marathon run ever in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.

He also won Kenyan's first Olympic marathon gold in record time in games held in Beijing, China, in 2008.

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