Kenya: Final Farewell to World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum

President William Ruto has led the Kenyan Cabinet in observing a moment of silence in honour of world marathon champion Kelvin Kiptum.
23 February 2024

Nairobi — World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who tragically lost his life in a road accident on February 11, 2024, alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana will be buried today.

The burial ceremony, set to take place at his Chepsaimo home, will witness President William Ruto leading Kenyans and the world in paying their last respects to the fallen marathon champion.

The passing of Kiptum and his coach sent shockwaves across the globe, especially as he was in the midst of preparations for the Rotterdam marathon and the upcoming Olympics. His coach was buried earlier this week in Rwanda.

His untimely demise halted the aspirations of a marathoner who was on the cusp of greatness, aiming to break the elusive two-hour marathon barrier.

Eldoret town witnessed a poignant scene as thousands of mourners gathered for a vigil on Thursday night to honor Kiptum's memory. Candles were lit, and the glow of mobile phone torches illuminated the night sky, symbolizing the collective sorrow of a community mourning the loss of its hero.

In preparation for today's burial, Kiptum's body was moved from the Eldoret Hospital mortuary, accompanied by a solemn procession of boda boda riders, covering 80 kilometers from Eldoret Town to Iten. The journey held profound significance as it traced the familiar routes that Kiptum once traversed during his training sessions and competitions.

As the hearse carrying Kiptum's remains made its way through the town, residents lined the streets, bidding farewell to their beloved athlete. The quiet procession was a somber reminder of the profound impact Kiptum had on the local community and the global athletics fraternity.

Following the procession, a prayer service was held at ACK Chepkorio, where heartfelt tributes were paid to Kiptum's remarkable achievements and indomitable spirit. President Ruto, in his eulogy, hailed Kiptum as a stellar athlete who had left an indelible mark on the world stage.

"Kelvin Kiptum was undeniably one of the finest sportsmen the world has ever seen, breaking barriers and setting records that will be remembered for generations to come," remarked President Ruto.

At just 24 years old, Kiptum's list of accolades included victories in prestigious marathons such as Valencia, Chicago, and London. His legacy as a trailblazer in the world of athletics will continue to inspire future generations of athletes, reminding them of the resilience, dedication, and passion embodied by Kelvin Kiptum.

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