Olympic Gold Medalist Wanjuri Dead at 24

World Marathon Majors Press Release and Tribute to Sammy Wanjiru

Sammy Wanjiru   1986-2011

World Marathon Majors is saddened by the news of the death of Sammy Wanjiru on May 15th.

was an incredible marathon talent with a ferocious racing style. He was
twice the World Marathon Majors Series Champion in 2008-2009 and in

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

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

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 record.

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.

October 2010 he repeated as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Champion in 2:06:23 after an epic race with Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede.

He was the World Marathon Majors Series Champion 2008-2009

He was the World Marathon Majors Series Champion 2009-2010

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