Lucas Sang, a member of the Kenyan 4x400m Relay squad at the 1988 Olympics, was killed in his hometown of Eldoret on Tuesday when violence spread throughout the country in the wake of last week’s presidential elections in Kenya.
Sang, 45, was attacked and killed while walking home, AFP reported on Wednesday.
At the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Sang ran the second leg on the Kenyan relay team, which finished eighth. His 45.08 leg was the fastest of the quartet, which also included Paul Ereng, who captured the Olympic 800m title that year. Sang was also a quarterfinalist in the 400m in Seoul, and was known as a strong 800m runner as well.
“Lucas was a great friend whom I could count on at any time,” said Ereng, a two-time World indoor 800m champion, a former coach at the IAAF High Performance Training Center in Eldoret, and now the head cross country and distance coach at the University of Texas-El Paso.
“I knew him as a straight forward sportsman who practiced the principal of Olympics spirit on the track and later on in his daily undertakings. Fairness was always evident in whatever Lucas was dealing with.”
After his retirement as an athlete, Sang become a successful farmer in Eldoret, but remained involved in athletics until his untimely death.
“Lucas was always easy to get along with and he got along with most people,” Ereng said. “He and I continued our relationship as friends later in farming and in promoting athletics in Kenya after we had retired from competitive running.”
Sang was elected chairman of athletics in the Rift Valley’s Usian Gishu District in 2000, and later that same year was elected treasurer of the National Association of Kenyan Olympiads (NAKO), a position he held until his death.
“I have lost a brother in sports and Kenya has lost a patriot, a great athlete and a precious human being,” Ereng said. “I will mourn his death and miss him greatly.”
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF