Kenya’s cabinet secretary, Musalia Mudavadi, expressed deep sadness at the passing of Kelvin Kiptum. He praised Kiptum’s remarkable talent and dedication to athletics, which served as an inspiration to countless individuals. Kiptum left behind a legacy of excellence, not only through his achievements but also through his mentorship and leadership of aspiring athletes.
Mudavadi offered his thoughts and prayers to Kiptum’s family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. He encouraged them to find comfort in their cherished memories and strength in the support of one another. Kiptum, a 24-year-old long distance runner, made history last year by breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record at the Chicago Marathon and dominating the London Marathon.
He was considered a once-in-a-generation talent and was the clear favorite for Olympic gold in Paris this summer. Kiptum was in the final weeks of training for the Rotterdam Marathon in April and had also been selected to represent Kenya in the Olympic marathon in August. Despite Kipchoge’s previous achievement of running a marathon under two hours, Kiptum was a favorite to achieve this feat in official race conditions.
Kiptum was recognized as the ‘off track’ athlete of the year by World Athletics in December. He started running barefoot while herding cattle for his family and had never set foot on an athletics track before. His sudden passing has left a void in the athletics world, and he will be dearly missed.