Wanjiru Was Out Of Control Before Death

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published May. 19, 2011
The late Sammy Wanjiru fought his fair share of personal demons. Photo:

The late Sammy Wanjiru fought his fair share of personal demons. Photo:

He wrestled with alcohol addiction and fought often with his wife.

Before he died last Sunday, Olympic gold medalist Sammy Wanjiru’s actions were something more resembling a rock star than a world-class marathoner.

He boozed and wenched; he began hanging out with people of dubious character.

At 21, Wanjiru was the youngest Olympic marathon champion. When he won his gold, he set a new Olympic record by more than three minutes on a  day with hardly ideal conditions.

But with fame and fortune came problems for Wanjiru.

According to his manager, Frederico Rosa, Wanjiru had his house broken into twice by armed bandits. Apparently, Wanjiru armed himself after those incidents, purchasing an AK-47 assault rifle.

Then last December, Wanjiru allegedly threatened to kill his wife and used this newly acquired weapon to strike his security guard.The two victims filed charges, but subsequently dropped them.

However, the arguments and domestic disturbances continued. He fought frequently with his wife, Triza Njeri. She accused him of consorting with other women.

For More: The Chicago Tribune

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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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