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'An extraordinary sportsman': tributes for Kenya's Kiptum

By AFP
Kenya Kenya's marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum's death at just 24 sparked a host of tributes.  By KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI AFP
FEB 12, 2024 LISTEN
Kenya's marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum's death at just 24 sparked a host of tributes. By KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI (AFP)

Kenyan running star Kelvin Kiptum, who shattered the marathon world record last year, died in a car crash on Sunday night.

Here are some of the notable reactions to his death, which has shocked Kenya and the world of athletics.

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum.

"An athlete who had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness."

- Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge, whose world record was smashed by 34 seconds by Kiptum in October, post on X, formerly Twitter.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

"It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon World Record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time.

"An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly."

- Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics

"Kenya, the world, and the fraternity of athletics and sports in general has lost a special, shining gem."

- Kenya's Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba at a press conference.

"Kelvin Kiptum was a star. Arguably one of the world's finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record," he posted on X.

"He was only 24 yet, as a hero, triumphed in Valencia, Chicago, London and in other top competitions.

"His mental strength and discipline were unmatched. Kiptum was our future.

"An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark in the globe.

- Kenyan President William Ruto

"I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn the passing of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana. This is a huge loss."

- Kenya's two-time Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha on X.

"With the Olympics just days away, we mourn the untimely departure of a promising talent.

"Kelvin's recent ratified record in Chicago showcased his potential for a bright future, representing the next generation of Olympic greatness. Historic, what the duo was able to accomplish."

- Kenya's National Olympic Committee post on X.

On X, Faith Kipyegon, Kenya's world record holder in the 1,500m

posted a wordless tribute, just three crying emojis and the Kenyan flag.

- Kenya's world record holder in the 1,500m

"I am so heart broken and shocked to learn of the saddening news of passing of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.

"My condolences to both families, friends and all the athletics fans around the globe."

- Joshua Cheptegei, Ugandan 5,000m and 10,000m record holder, on Instagram.

"Kelvin was an amazingly talented athlete and had already achieved so much. He truly had a special talent and I have no doubt he would have gone on to have had an incredible career."

-- Britain's four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah on Instagram.

"I'm deeply saddened and heartbroken by the news Kelvin Kiptum and his coach died yesterday. My condolences go out to his family, friends and fans."

- Sifan Hassan, Ethiopia-born Dutch distance runner who won the Chicago and London marathon women's titles last year, on Instagram, alongside of a picture of her with Kiptum.

"Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight," he said on X.

"Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero."

- Raila Odinga, Kenyan opposition leader

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