It is with a sad heart that I report that 24 year old Sammy Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic Champion, and in LetsRun.com's opinion the greatest marathoner to ever live, has died in Kenya.
Shadrack Biwott, the former University of Oregon runner and brother of Kenyan marathon star, Duncan Kibet, called us with the news of Wanjiru's tragic death and another Kenyan American who wished to be anonymous called as well with the news.
I'm sure there will be a lot of speculation and news surrounding the cause of death. There can be other threads for that. The sport of running lost one of its best way too young today and this thread is meant to be where you can pay your respects to Sammy.
|Lorenzo the Magnificent|
Yes,, David monti has confirmed it
|on the twitter|
Best I could find:
Olympic marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru has died. Got an call from an athlete, then his manager Federico Rosa confirmed it. No firm details.
|Old Ultra Guy|
A. E. Housman.
To An Athlete Dying Young
THE time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl's.
Wow, I'm in complete shock just like everyone else reading this news. My greatest memory of Sammy is when he pushed the pace in the Olympic Marathon and dropped everyone. As an American, of course I was rooting for Ryan Hall and the lot, but watching Sammy push through the terrible Beijing conditions to an Olympic record, you couldn't say he didn't deserve it more.
RIP Sammy. Thanks for inspiring a new generation.