Kenya’s 400m hurdler Nicholas Bett killed in car crash

Mazino Dickson

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The African and global athletics family was thrown into tragedy with the announcement that 2015 world 400 metres hurdles champion Nicholas Bett was killed in a car crash.

Local Police said Bett died near his home in western Kenya.

“The accident occurred when his vehicle hit a bump and rolled and he died on the spot,” Nandi county police commander Patrick Wambani said from the scene of the crash.

The 28 year old had just arrived his home country from Asaba where he participated at the 21st African Senior Athletics Championship.

Bett was forced to pull out of the final due to injury.

He was disqualified in his heat at the 2016 Rio Olympics after hitting a hurdle and was unable to defend his world title in London in 2017 due to injury.

World mourns

The athletics world has been reacting to Bett’s tragic death.

“It is very sad because I talked to him yesterday. He had gone to Nairobi Hospital to see a doctor because of the injury he picked up in Asaba,” said Barnaba Korir, an official with Athletics Kenya (AK).

“This morning we got the reports (of his death) and, as AK, we are saddened beyond words.”

Rashid Echesa Mohamed, Kenya’s secretary of Sports, Culture and Heritage described the death as a huge blow to the East African nation.

“Former 400m hurdles World Champion Nicholas Bett has died in a road accident in Nandi County. On behalf of the sporting fraternity, and I convey my sincerest condolences to his family. Rest in peace,” he said.

Track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, expressed sadness.

“The IAAF is deeply saddened and shocked to hear that Kenya’s 2015 world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett, 28, died in a car accident on Tuesday (7). RIP.”