Kenya’s cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi expressed his deep sadness over the passing of Kelvin Kiptum. He remembered Kiptum’s remarkable talent and dedication to athletics as an inspiration to many. Mudavadi also highlighted Kiptum’s mentorship and leadership, which guided aspiring athletes to reach their full potential. He described the legacy Kiptum leaves behind as a testament to passion and commitment to excellence.
Kiptum was a 24-year-old long distance runner who made a significant impact in the sport last year, breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record at the Chicago Marathon and dominating the London Marathon with the third fastest time over the 26.2 mile distance. He was considered a once-in-a-generation talent and was the favorite for Olympic gold in Paris, where Kipchoge was going for a hat-trick of marathon titles.
Kiptum set a historic time of 2hr 0m 35sec in October while training for the Rotterdam Marathon in April, as well as being selected for the Kenyan team for the Olympic marathon in August. Even though Kipchoge was the first human to run a marathon under two hours in a controlled time trial event with pacers, Kiptum looked increasingly likely to achieve that feat in ratified race conditions. For his outstanding performance, he was awarded ‘off track’ athlete of the year by World Athletics in December.
Mudavadi extended his thoughts and prayers to Kiptum’s family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. He wished them comfort in their cherished memories and strength in supporting each other through this loss.