Kenya’s cabinet secretary, Musalia Mudavadi, expressed his deepest condolences over the passing of Kelvin Kiptum. He described 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 added that Kiptum’s legacy leaves behind a testament to passion and commitment to excellence.
In 2021, 24-year-old Kiptum made a significant impact in long distance running, 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. 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 alongside his hero Eliud Kipchoge. Despite being awarded ‘off track’ athlete of the year by World Athletics in December, Kiptum had never set foot on an athletics track before beginning serious running barefoot while herding cattle for his family. His historic time of 2hr 0m 35sec was set in October, and he was in the final weeks of training for the Rotterdam Marathon in April when he passed away suddenly.
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 their support of one another as they mourn the loss of such a talented athlete.