Kenya’s cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi expressed deep sadness over the passing of Kelvin Kiptum, a 24-year-old long distance runner who made significant strides in the sport last year. Kiptum broke Eliud Kipchoge’s world record at the Chicago Marathon and dominated the London Marathon with the third fastest time over 26.2 miles. Mudavadi highlighted Kiptum’s dedication to athletics as an inspiration to many, as well as his mentorship and leadership that guided aspiring athletes to their full potential.
Kiptum was considered a once-in-a-generation talent and was favored for Olympic gold in Paris, where Kipchoge was going for a hat-trick of marathon titles. He set a historic time of 2hr 0m 35sec at the Chicago Marathon in October and was training for the Rotterdam Marathon in April and selected for the Kenyan team for the Olympic marathon in August. Even though Eliud 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. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded ‘off track’ athlete of the year by World Athletics in December.
Mudavadi also 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 one another as they mourn the loss of such a talented athlete.