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Posted: January 11, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: German 800M Runner Herms Found Dead

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

René Herms, one of Germany's most decorated 800m runners, was found dead Saturday at his home, according to a report posted at the German athletics federation website, He was 26 years old, and the cause of his death was not immediately known.

Herms first made his presence felt at the 2001 European Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy, where he won the gold medal just four days after turning 19. Two years later he won the European Under-23 title in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He also made his first appearance in the IAAF World Championships that year in Paris, but was eliminated in the semi-finals.

After joining the senior ranks, Herms won four European Cup medals for Germany, two outdoors and two indoors, including the silver medal at 800m at the 2004 European Cup. He achieved a personal best time of 1:44.14 set in Münich in 2004. Herms competed in the Athens Olympics, making it to the second round before being eliminated.

Herms ran for the LG Braunschweig club, and the club's chairman, Bernhard Bröger, sent an e-mail indicating that his athlete had suffered from a "heart muscle illness" which may have contributed to his death. Herms was married; his body was discovered by his mother-in-law.

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