Kenya’s cabinet secretary Musalia Mudavadi has expressed his deep condolences over the passing of Kelvin Kiptum. He mentioned Kiptum’s remarkable talent and dedication to athletics as an inspiration to many, highlighting his mentorship and leadership that guided aspiring athletes to reach their full potential. Mudavadi described the legacy Kiptum leaves behind as a testament to passion and commitment to excellence.
In 2019, 24-year-old Kiptum made a significant impact in long distance running by breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s world record at the Chicago Marathon with a time of 2hr 1min 39sec. He then went on to dominate the London Marathon with the third fastest time over the 26.2 mile distance in October. Kiptum was considered a once-in-a-generation talent and was the favorite for Olympic gold in Paris, where he was going for a hat-trick of marathon titles with his historic time of 2hr 0m 35sec.
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. He was awarded the title of ‘off track’ athlete of the year by World Athletics in December. Despite beginning serious running barefoot while also herding cattle for his family, he had never previously set foot on an athletics track before achieving these impressive feats.