Remembering The Great Sammy Wanjiru

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published May. 16, 2012
  • Updated May. 16, 2012 at 8:53 AM UTC
Sammy Wanjiru's untimely death has left many wondering what else he could have accomplished in his career. Photo: Getty Images

His achievements are recalled on the one-year anniversary of his death.

Tossing around superlatives like “the best” and the “greatest ever” can be dangerous for writers covering the sport of running.

But in the case of the late Kenyan Olympic gold medalist in the marathon, Sammy Wanjiru, these terms are warranted.

One year ago yesterday, Sammy Wanjiru died. The circumstances surrounding his passing remain shrouded in mystery.

PHOTO GALLERY: Remembering Sammy Wanjiru

ESPN’s Shaun Assael recently wrote a lengthy article about Wanjiru’s life.

At the 2008 Olympic Games, Wanjiru recalled how he had forgotten his race shoes in Kenya. “I had a lot on my mind and was pretty nervous, but as soon as I started, I forgot about it all,” said Wanjiru. “The only thing I thought was, ‘Who cares, let’s go!’”

On that extremely warm and humid day, Wanjiru clocked a stunning 2:06:32, which obliterated the Olympic record and is arguably one of the best marathon performances of all time.

Upon returning home, Wanjiru was greeted by 30,000 cheering fans that packed Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.

For More: ESPN

FILED UNDER: News / Olympic Games TAGS: /

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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