On Wednesday morning, Kenyans woke up to the sad news of the passing on of 2015 400m hurdles World Champion Nicholas Bett.
Bett died in a road accident near Lessos on the border between Nandi County and Uasin Gishu County.
Bett died on the spot after the car he was driving hit bumbs on the road and rolled into a ditch.
The father of three became the first Kenyan IAAF World Athletics Championship gold medalist at a distance shorter than 800 metres when he obliterated competition to win the 400 metres hurdles in Beijing in 2015 in a national record, and personal best time as well, of 47.79 seconds.
Before his performance, the Kenyan 400 metres hurdles record was held by Eric Keter who ran a time of 48.24 seconds during the 1993 IAAF World Athletics Championship in Stuttgart, Germany.
After his win, Bett, as you will see in the video shared below, told IAAFtv that the key to his win was a decision he made before finals. Bett, said that he decided to run very fast during the finals because he noticed during his heat races that slowing down to jump the hurdles tired him and hence struggled towards the end of races.
Thanking God for the win, Bett also dedicated the win to his 6-month old twins, a boy and a girl.
As we celebrate the life of a fallen hero, the following are six things that you probably never knew about him.
1). Already you must have googled him and found out that he was born on June 14 1992 but you probably did not know that his elder brother, Haron Koech, was also representing Kenya in the 400 metres hurdles at Beijing. Koech failed to make the finals after registering a time of 49.54 seconds to finish seventh in his semifinal heat.
2). He hails from Simat in Uasin Gishu county. The area has also produced reigning 1 500 metres world champion Asbel Kiprop who, going by the screenshot shared below, seems to enjoy a close friendship with Bett.
3). Before venturing into athletics, Bett played volleyball and even represented volleyball power house Cheptil at the East African Secondary School games in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He credits the sport for his success on the track as it helped strengthen his legs.
4). Before his sudden demise, his coach was Vincent Mumo Kiilu
5). He is a father of three.
6). He was a keen football fan and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea was his favourite club. Just to add, former 3 000 metres steeplechase world champion Ezekiel Kemboi is also a Chelsea fan.