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Life and times of slain Kenyan-born Ugandan Benjamin Kiplagat

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benjamin kiplagat
Benjamin Kiplagat. Photo/Sky News
  • Benjamin Kiplagat passed on December 31, 2023
  • He was stabbed by two men on a motorcycle
  • The two suspects are in police custody

The sudden demise of Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat sent shockwaves in Kenya and Uganda where he spent most of his time.

He shared a special athletic DNA with both Kenya and Uganda and his gruesome murder is a big blow to East Africa.

Who is Benjamin Kiplagat?

Born in 1989 in the rural Kenyan village of Kumi in the Rift Valley, Kiplagat’s early life was a story of survival dotted by threads of poverty and hardship. Yet, amidst the dust and scarcity, bloomed a talent that would one day propel him to the podiums of the world – his exceptional skill in long-distance running.

Inspired by the triumphs of fellow Ugandan stars like Boniface Kiprop, young Kiplagat found solace and purpose in the rhythm of his feet pounding the earth. He trained barefoot but never gave up as he kept the focus and dream alive.

Resources were scarce during his early years and any athletic wear was a luxury he rarely enjoyed. But his determination blazed brighter than any lack of material comfort.

His raw talent caught the eye of local coaches, who nurtured his natural gifts and provided him with his first pair of running shoes – a cherished possession that became a symbol of his budding dreams. Soon, Kiplagat’s name started echoing through regional competitions, his victories echoing the resilience of his spirit.

benjamin kiplagat

Benjamin Kiplagat. Photo/The Sports Nation

In 2008, at the tender age of 19, Kiplagat achieved a feat that solidified his place as a rising star. He bagged the silver medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the World Junior Championships, etching his name onto the global stage. This was just the beginning. He also acquired Ugandan citizenship.

Over the next decade, Kiplagat carved a path of excellence. He smashed Ugandan national records, dominated cross-country championships, and donned the colours of his adopted nation – Uganda – with unwavering pride at the Olympic Games.

What Happened to Benjamin Kiplagat?

Benjamin Kiplagat, lost his life on December 31, 2023.  His body was found in his car near Eldoret, Kenya, with stab wounds. CCTV footage depicting the moments leading up to the tragic demise of Kenyan-born athlete Benjamin Kiplagat has surfaced following the events of this past Sunday.

In the footage, the athlete is seen speeding along Kimumu Junction in Eldoret at approximately 1:15 am, apparently attempting to elude pursuers.

Driving a black Toyota Hilux, Kiplagat manoeuvred the corner at high speed, ultimately crashing into a ditch. Within minutes, two individuals hurried to the scene and fatally stabbed him, leaving his lifeless body by the roadside.

The assailants swiftly fled from the scene in an attempt to evade identification by passersby. Local police commander Stephen Okal reported that detectives utilized the footage to apprehend two suspects in Uasin Gishu County and Trans Nzoia County, respectively.

He clarified that the two individuals implicated are recognized criminals who have been causing distress to the general public.

Reasons behind his murder remain unknown even with theories that the two suspects pursued him after allegedly striking their motorcycle.

A knife alleged to be the murder weapon in the case was recovered in possession of one of the arrested suspects.

benjamin kiplagat

Two suspects arrested over the murder of Ugandan athlete Benjamin Kiplagat. Photo/DCI

Benjamin Kiplagat Career Record

While Kiplagat achieved remarkable results throughout his career, he didn’t technically “win” a lot of major races in the sense of being the overall champion.

His strengths often played out in other ways, contributing to the success of the Ugandan team and showcasing his incredible talent.

He secured the silver medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2008 World Junior Championships, a significant accomplishment on the global stage.

Kiplagat boke Ugandan national record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase multiple times, with his best personal best being 8:03.81.

He also achieved top-10 finishes in various prestigious races, including the World Cross Country Championships and the Diamond League meetings.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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