Champion Bett to be buried in Eldoret

Police officers carry the casket (draped in police flag) bearing the body of former 400M hurdles World Champion Nicholas Bett to a hearse at the Eldoret Hospital ahead of a procession through the streets of Eldoret town. [Kevin Tunoi/Standard]
Former world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett will be buried today in a ceremony expected to be attended by Deputy President William Ruto.

A sombre mood engulfed the Eldoret Hospital mortuary yesterday as dozens of friends streamed in to condole with the family.

Mr Bett's coffin was carried in a brown hearse pulled by a Prado. It had his name engraved on a metal plate on the side and a police flag draped over it.

His parents, wife, children, siblings and friends could not hold back their tears as the body was taken to his home in Simat, a few kilometres from Eldoret town.

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Dozens of athletes, including reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, former 800m champions Janeth Jepkosgei and Eunice Sum, javelin champion Julius Yego, Asbel Kiprop and Kirwa Yego were also present.

They all wore black T-shirts bearing Bett’s photo and a Bible verse.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and other leaders were also at the mortuary to condole with the family.

Athletes who participated in the Athletics Senior Championships in Asaba, Nigeria, early this month led the cortege clad in their colourful red uniform.

Bett, 28, died when his Toyota Prado hit a bump in Sochoi before skidding off the road on Wednesday last week.

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The athlete, who shot to fame when he won a gold medal in the 2015 world championships in Beijing, has been described by many as a polite and soft-spoken man.

“Bett was a good man. I met him in 2014 when I was a coach. He used to come to me to ask for advice. He was a very dependable man,” said Alex Sang.

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