World Marathon Majors Press Release and Tribute to Sammy Wanjiru
By World Marathon Majors May 16, 2011
Sammy Wanjiru 1986-2011
World Marathon Majors is saddened by the news of the death of Sammy Wanjiru on May 15th.
Wanjiru was an incredible marathon talent with a ferocious racing style. He was twice the World Marathon Majors Series Champion in 2008-2009 and in 2009-2010.
He was the Olympic Champion in the Marathon in Beijing in 2008, setting an Olympic Record of 2:06:32 in very difficult hot and humid weather conditions. He was twice the winner of Chicago Marathon, and once the winner of London Marathon, and
also finished second at the London Marathon. He held the World Junior Record for 10,000m on the track, running 26:41.75 in 2005. He twice held the World Record for the half marathon.
Carey Pinkowski, Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon said: "We are truly saddened by the news of the recent death of Sammy Wanjiru. He was a magnificent athlete who competed at the highest level here in Chicago, leaving a championship
legacy at our event. The sport of marathon running has suffered a tragic loss, and he will truly be missed by all who knew him in Chicago. Our thoughts and prayers are with his young family."
David Bedford, Race Director of the Virgin London Marathon said: "On behalf of the Race Directors of the World Marathon Majors' events, our loss of Samuel is immense.
He was in my opinion the best marathon runner ever and was likely to break the World Marathon Record....his record speaks for itself. London will miss this great man who was always of generous spirit and considerate. RIP Samuel." (Editor's Note: Mary Wittenberg, head of the NYC Marathon has a statement here)
Sammy Wanjiru's marathon record:
Five wins in seven marathon races.
Wanjiru made his marathon debut at the Fukuoka
Marathon on December 2, 2007, winning it impressively with a course record of 2:06:39
In 2008 Wanjiru came second at the Flora London Marathon in 2:05:24
Olympic Marathon Champion 2008, Beijing in 2:06:32 (Olympic Record)
In 2009 he set his career best winning the Flora London Marathon in 2:05:10 - then a course
In 2009 he was the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Champion in 2:05:41
In April 2010 he did not finish the Virgin London Marathon. It was the only time he failed to complete a marathon.
In October 2010 he repeated as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Champion in 2:06:23 after an epic race with Ethiopia's
He was theWorld Marathon Majors Series Champion 2008-2009
He was the World Marathon Majors Series Champion 2009-2010