Kenyan athlete and current holder of the 10km women-only world record Agnes Tirop is dead.

Tirop’s lifeless body was found lying in a pool of blood Wednesday morning in Iten, Kenya’s athletics hub about 350km west of Nairobi, with stab wounds on her neck and abdomen, according to police reports.

The 10,000m world bronze medalist finished fourth in the 5000m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in a race won by Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands.

Preliminary reports indicate that the athlete was killed by an ex-lover. According to neighbours, the couple had been having issues.

Tirop, who was set to celebrate her 26th birthday on October 21, took 28 seconds off the long-standing women-only world record for 10km at the adizero Road To Records event in Herzogenaurach on September 12.

That performance ended a 19-year-old record that had been held by Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui set in 2002.

The new 10km record now stands at 30:29 but the holder is  no more thanks violence that robbed the world of a promising talent that shot to the stage at the same time as Ruth Chepng’etich Kipyegon.

In 2015, Tirop became the second-youngest medalist when she won bronze at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships – 10,000m.

She won the 2014 African Cross Country Championships and would go on to impress at the World Cross Country and World Junior Championships.

In Tokyo, Tirop finished fourth after clocking 14:39.62 in the 5000m, behind Sifan Hassan (14:36.79) with compatriot Hellen Obiri 14:38.36) taking the silver.

Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay was third after timing 14:38.87 to pip Tirop for bronze.

Athletics Kenya issued the following statement.