World Junior Medalist Dies At 17

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 9, 2011

Albert Yator had a tremendous career ahead of him. Photo: Athletics News

The cause of death was most likely malaria.

Albert Yator had a long, successful running career ahead of him. The 17-year-old Kenyan teenager was already a silver medalist in the steeplechase at last year’s World Junior Championships, and had placed sixth in a large cross country race in his home country last month.

But sadly, this is not to be.

Last weekend, Yator passed away. He was admitted to the hospital with malaria and his condition deteriorated.

“We were completely shocked to hear this on Saturday,” said his agent, Ricky Simms of Pace Sports Management. “I believe the hospital is doing a post mortem to find out the cause of death.”

Yator was running times that rival top-tier American Olympians. At the World Junior Championships last year, he clocked a 8:33.55 and improved on the mark at the Brussels Diamond Meeting, running 8:23.69. His Brussels time was the fastest steeplechase performance by a junior athlete in the world last year.

“We have lost a talented runner and our thoughts and prayers are with family,” remarked Noah Ngeny, a 2000 Olympic champion and fellow Kenyan.

For More: Athletics Weekly

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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