The athletics fraternity is still reeling in shock following the untimely death of promising men 400m sprinter and 2014 Africa Youth Games silver medallist, Ian Mutuku who collapsed and passed on at a hospital in Machakos on Monday.
Mutuku, 19, the 2013 national youth champion finished fourth at both the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine and 2014 Olympics Youth Games and was seen as a future prospect for the country in the lap-race.
According to his coach Peter Muia, Mutuku checked himself into Machakos Level 5 Hospital on Friday with a swollen body before his health took his turn for the better over the weekend.
Incidentally, his young wife and toddler son were also admitted at the same hospital and died moments after he rose from his bed to go over to the paediatric ward to visit his young one from what doctors’ suspected was complications from a kidney problem.
“When I left the Madoka Half Marathon, I came to visit him on Sunday and he was very healthy although his feet were swollen. He had been admitted together with the wife who was with their toddler in another ward.
“At around 8am in the morning (Monday) he had difficulties in breathing and after removing his oxygen mask, he woke up to go visit his child, it was as if he knew his end was near,” Muia told Citizen Digital.
“After returning to his bed, he collapsed barely five minutes later. He started foaming and doctors tried to resuscitate him but he died shortly after,” the grieving coach who described Mutunga as a friend and promising athlete added.
Muia-who is also an official of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya (PAAK) in Machakos- called on authorities to investigate the increasing cases of mortality among young athletes in the country.
“When we started informing his fellow athletes and friends of what had happened, they could not believe since he had taken himself to hospital. They thought it was a joke.
“We need to look into these supplements that our athletes are being given. As a coach, I know most of our athletes are mixing things they don’t know as supplements. We have lost eight athletes spread over the country and we need to look into this matter without delay.
“Some athletes are using supplements without doctor’s instructions and we have seen young athletes collapsing and later dying. In the past, we did not have these cases and athletes should be told on what to use and how to do it,” the distraught Muia stated.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, Athletics Kenya (AK) Southern Branch chairman, Paul Mutwii, said he would meet with his Executive to discuss burial plans for the fallen sprinter.
“We will decide on the next cause of action including the funeral arrangements. He was a very promising sprinter and great loss for the nation but what can we do,” Mutwii who is also the AK vice-president mourned.
Mutuku ran his lifetime best in 400m of 46.67 at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium in June 2014 at the Olympics Youth Games Trials.
He trailed Botswana’s Karabo Sibanda (46.77) cross the line to take silver at the Africa Youth Games in Gabon where he clocked 47.20 to edge out Ethiopia’s Lema Alemu (47.76) in the battle for the second medal.
At the Olympics Youth Games in Nanjing, China Mutuku stopped the timer at 47.08 to place just outside the medals having ran 47.02 the previous year for fourth at the World Youth in Donetsk.