Last month, Tirop smashed the women-only 10km world record in Germany. She won bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships in the 10,000m.
Police arrested him in the coastal city of Mombasa last week, and he has been arraigned on suspicion of her murder. Neither Rotich, nor his representatives, have made any public comments on the case.
Thousands crowded at Kapnyamisa Primary School grounds to pay their last respect to the slain athlete who was set to celebrate her 26th on the same day she was laid to rest.
Mourners including fellow athletes lined up to scatter flowers on a white coffin. A picture of Tirop, grinning and holding up a bronze medal, was placed on top of the coffin.
"For us Kenyans, we have lost a hero," said Hellen Obiri, the women's 5,000m world champion and a mentor to Tirop. "I told her that in 2022, she was to go and defend my titles and represent our country," Obiri said, her eyes shining with tears.
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