17 May 2011

Olympic marathon champion jumps to death from balcony

6:01 am on 17 May 2011

Confusion surrounds the death of Kenya's Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru who jumped to his death from the balcony of his home in the Rift Valley about 150 kilometres from the capital Nairobi.

The regional police chief told reporters Wanjiru's wife caught him in bed with another woman, locked them in the bedroom, and Wanjiru jumped from the first floor of the house, and died later in hospital.

Wanjiru won Kenya's first men's marathon gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, becoming the youngest Olympic champion at the age of 21.

But he had a troubled private life which involved a charge last Decemer of threatening to kill his wife with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Ethiopia's legendary marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie, said he was "totally shocked" by the news of Wanjiru's death.