Nicholas Bett death: 400m hurdles World Champion dies in road accident, aged 28

Kenya’s first ever short-distance world champion was killed in a car crash a day after competing in the Continental Championships in Nigeria

Jack de Menezes
Wednesday 08 August 2018 09:18

Former 400m hurdles world champion Nicholas Bett has died after being involved in a car crash in his home country of Kenya, aged 28.

Bett was killed while driving near Nandi County in west Kenya, just one day after competing in the Continental Championships in Nigeria.

His tragic death was announced by his family and confirmed by county police commander Patrick Wambani, while Athletics Kenya issued a statement following the news.

The statement read: “We regrets to learn of the sudden demise of one of our top athletes, the 2015 400m Hurdles World Champion #NicholasKiplagatBett who represented Kenya in the just concluded Africa Championships.

“Our condolences to his family and the entire athletics fraternity.”

His trainer, Vincent Mumo, said that the athlete’s SUV hit bumps in the road and rolled as it went off the tarmac in the high-altitude training region in west Kenya early on Wednesday morning.

Bett won gold in the 400m hurdles at Beijing 2015

The hurdler made history in 2015 when he became his country’s first athlete to win a World Championships gold medal in a short distance race, and he is also a two-time African Championship medallist.

His twin brother, Haron Koech, is also a 400m hurdler.

Bett crosses the line to win World Championships gold in Beijing three years ago
In winning in Beijing, Bett became Kenya's first short-distance world champion
Bett died just a day after competing at the Continental Championships

Bett also competed in the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2018, finishing eighth in Gold Coast earlier this year, and was part of Kenya’s 4x400m relay at both events. Following his triumphant victory at the Beijing World Championships, Bett went into the Rio 2016 Olympic Games among the favourites for gold, but stumbled on the final hurdle in his heat and failed to qualify for the semi-finals after being disqualified.

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