Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge on Monday, February 12, mourned the death of world record holder Kelvin Kiptum.
Through an official statement, Kipchoge remarked that Kiptum was a rising star with a whole life ahead of him and destined to achieve incredible greatness.
“I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum,” he stated.
Kipchoge further commiserated with the family of the 24-year-old athlete who died in a gruesome accident in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Eliud Kipchoge reacts after Boston Marathon in 2023.
He added, “I offer my deepest condolences to his young family. May God comfort you during this trying time.”
In October 2023, during the Chicago Marathon, Kiptum broke Kipchoge’s record after clocking 2:00:35. Expressing his elation at the feat, Kiptum would later reveal that he did not expect to break a world record let alone eclipse the greatest marathoner of all time.
Eliud Kipchoge would later note that he was not surprised that Kiptum broke his world record in Chicago. He, however, expressed his satisfaction that he had paved the way for the young generation to soar.
“I was happy to see the record being broken. I am looking forward to seeing records being broken because I have shown them the way,” he stated in Asturias while receiving the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Sports in October last year.
Besides Kipchoge, other athletes both in Kenya and internationally sent their condolence messages, describing the late Kiptum as a bonafide star.
The accident which claimed Kiptum’s life occurred between Eldoret and Kaptagat. Most long-distance runners train along this stretch.
Kiptum was scheduled to compete in a Marathon in Rotterdam in April, where he had expressed his interest in becoming the first man to run an official marathon in under two hours.
Reportedly, the vehicle lost control and veered off the road landing into a nearby ditch.
Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum (left) and wreckage of his car involved in an accident.