Ugandan Long-Distance Runner Benjamin Kiplagat Fatally Stabbed in Tragic Incident

By Nancy Emily Nagujja

The Ugandan athletics community mourns the devastating loss of Benjamin Kiplagat, a prominent long-distance runner whose life was tragically cut short in an unfathomable incident.

The distressing discovery of Kiplagat’s lifeless body inside his brother’s car was discovered along the Eldoret-Iten Road near Kimumu Secondary School Sunday morning around 5:00am. The police revealed the harrowing nature of the incident, with Kiplagat sustaining a deep knife wound on his neck.  “We are still investigating the incident to ascertain what happened, but what we can confirm is that the man found dead is an international athlete called Benjamin Kiplagat,” said Moiben Sub-County Police Commander Stephen Okal quoted by NTV Kenya.

Kiplagat’s journey in running was inspired by the success of fellow athlete Boniface Kiprop, hailing from the same village, who triumphed in the 2004 World Junior Championships. Kiplagat’s sporting journey commenced with his participation in the 10,000 meters, later shifting gears to excel in the 1500 and 5000 meters upon his coach’s advice. His international debut at the 2006 World Cross Country Championships marked the beginning of a remarkable career. Setting a new national junior record and securing a notable 6th position in the Ugandan Junior Cross Country Championships exemplified his early prowess.

The year 2008 showcased Kiplagat’s burgeoning talent as he clinched 4th place in the World Cross Country Championships and consecutively shattered Uganda’s records in the 3000m Steeplechase. Despite setbacks due to malaria and typhoid in 2009, Kiplagat’s determination remained unwavering as he continually pushed the boundaries of Ugandan records, setting a new mark at 8:12.98. His resilience persisted in the face of health challenges in 2010, where he furthered his record to an astonishing 8:03.81 and secured a commendable 4th position at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

The loss of Benjamin Kiplagat reverberates not only through the athletics world but also within the hearts of those who knew him, highlighting a bright career cut short tragically. His legacy as a fierce competitor and record-breaker will endure, leaving an indelible mark on Ugandan athletics.

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