Kenya’s Tokyo Olympic star Agnes Tirop has been found dead with a stab wound in her abdomen.
The 5,000m star, 25, was discovered at her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County earlier.
just two months after she finished fourth at the Games.
Her death has been confirmed by Barnaba Korir, the chairperson of Athletics Kenya in Nairobi Region.
Tirop made history in the adizero Road To Records event in Germany in September.
She slashed 28 seconds from the 19-year-old women’s record for 10km after clocking a staggering 30:01.
Tirop sped away from compatriot Sheila Chepkirui to break the mark of 30:29 which had been set by Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui in 2002.
Afterwards she said: “I’m so happy to have broken the world record. I felt the pace was good. The course was very good, too.”
Tirop became the second-youngest medallist at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in the women’s race.
She was a medallist at junior level at the World Cross Country and World Junior Championships and she was the junior champion at the African Cross Country Championships in 2014.
The long-distance star then won a bronze medal in the 10,000 metres event at the 2017 World Championships.
Tirop represented her country at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and was one of the medal favourites.
She eventually finished fourth in the 5,000m women’s finals after clocking 14:39.62.
Dutch star Sifan Hassan won gold, with Kenya’s Hellen Obiri settling for silver and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay pipping Tirop to bronze by less than a second.
Award-Winning Sports Journalist Usher Komugisha, voted in Top 100 Most Influential Young Africans, tweeted: “HEARTBREAKING! Kenyan athlete Agnes Jebet “Tirop, who represented Kenya at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the 5000m, has been found dead in her house with stab wounds to her abdomen.
“She was just 10 days away from her 26th birthday. Rest in peace Queen!”
Another devastated fan wrote: “Heartbreaking to lose such an amazing talent in Athletics under weird circumstances. Kenya has lost big! Rest well 2015 World Cross Country Champion Agnes Tirop.