President William Ruto has expressed his condolences over the tragic death of Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, describing him as an extraordinary sportsman who made an indelible mark on the global stage.
Kiptum, aged 24, lost his life along with his Rwandese coach, Garvis Hakizimana, in a road accident at the Kaptagat area along Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road around 11 pm.
President Ruto hailed Kiptum as a star and one of the world’s finest sportsmen, breaking barriers and setting marathon records in events like Valencia, Chicago, and London. He highlighted Kiptum’s mental strength and unmatched discipline, noting that the athlete represented the future.
In a message of condolence, President Ruto stated, “An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark on the globe. Our thoughts are with the family and the sporting fraternity. Rest In Peace.”
First Lady Rachel Ruto joined in commemorating Kiptum’s remarkable achievements on the marathon tracks. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe paid tribute, recognizing Kiptum as an incredible athlete leaving behind an incredible legacy.
Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba lamented Kenya’s loss of a special gem, while former Prime Minister Raila Odinga characterized Kiptum as a true hero and a remarkable individual, mourning the loss of a Kenyan athletics icon.
Kelvin Kiptum gained prominence in 2023 in Chicago, surpassing Eliud Kipchoge’s achievement by clocking two hours and 35 seconds in the 42-kilometer marathon. Both Kiptum and Kipchoge had been named in Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the upcoming Paris Olympics later this year.