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. The 24-year-old long distance runner was considered a once-in-a-generation talent and was the clear favorite for Olympic gold in Paris this summer.
Kipchoge had previously achieved the feat of running a marathon under two hours, but Kiptum was a favorite to achieve this feat in official race conditions. In December, he was recognized as the ‘off track’ athlete of the year by World Athletics. He started running barefoot while herding cattle for his family and had never set foot on an athletics track before.
Kiptum made history last year by breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record at the Chicago Marathon and dominating the London Marathon. Despite being only 24 years old, he was already well on his way to becoming one of Kenya’s greatest athletes. His sudden passing has left a void in the athletics world, and he will be dearly missed.