Eliud Kipchoge Facing Backlash Following Tribute To The Late Kelvin Kiptum

After radio silence when Kiptum shattered Kipchoge's record in Chicago, the internet isn't taking kindly to his more timely tribute

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As the world grapples with the recent passing of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, we are left with the loss of incredible talent and unmeasured potential. 

As Kiptum was gearing up for a record-breaking 2024, where he intended to attempt to become the first human to ever run a sub-two marathon on a record-eligible course at the Rotterdam Marathon, he was also preparing for the marathon showdown of the ages.

The world was waiting with anticipation for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where Kiptum was poised to toe the line for the very first time with marathon great and former world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.

The greatest marathon rivalry that was never meant to be.

Eliud Kipchoge Facing Backlash Following Tribute To The Late Kelvin Kiptum 1

The competition between the greatest marathoners of all time began to heat up following the Chicago Marathon, where Kiptum knocked Kipchoge from his pedestal, taking the title of marathon world record holder after running 2:00:35.

As the world celebrated the young Kenyan’s triumph, there was nothing but radio silence from Kipchoge.

The former world record holder was vilified by internet users when he didn’t comment or congratulate Kiptum on his stunning performance in Chicago. 

Online discussions were ruthless, with many fans labeling the 38-year-old as “unsportsmanlike.”

kelvin kiptum crossing chicago marathon finish line

On the flip side, Kiptum expressed high respect for Kipchoge following his own record-breaking race in Chicago. “Of course, Eliud is the GOAT; he has achieved a lot, and we hold him in high regard, following his footsteps,” said Kiptum.

It wasn’t until two weeks after the historic day that Kipchoge publicly acknowledged Kiptum’s achievement during a press conference at the 2023 Princess of Asturias Award for Sports in Oviedo, Spain.

Kipchoge’s comments about Kiptum’s world record came after he received an award for his accomplishments in running and contributions through his foundation responding to a reporter’s question.

“I was not surprised about [Kiptum] breaking the world record,” Kipchoge said. “I look forward to seeing records being broken because I have shown them the way.”

Kipchoge also expressed excitement about going head-to-head at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where Kipchoge would be aiming for his third consecutive Olympic gold.

Eliud Kipchoge Facing Backlash Following Tribute To The Late Kelvin Kiptum 2

The former world record holder came under fire once again for his tribute to the late Kelvin Kiptum following his tragic road accident Sunday, which claimed his and his coach’s life.

Kipchoge took to social media Monday morning to share his sadness over Kiptum’s untimely death.

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum,” he wrote.

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

“I offer my deepest condolences to his young family. May God comfort you during this trying time.”

Following his delayed congratulations following the Chicago Marathon, Kipchoge’s tribute was not well received by many.

Some comments found under Kipchoge’s tribute include:

  • “You didn’t congratulate him, yet you are quick to send your condolences. Give people their flowers when they can still smell them.”
  • “Never congratulated him while he was alive, and now you are here sending your condolences?” 
  • “Hypocrite. You are quick to mourn him, but congratulating him when he beat you hands down is where you draw the line?” 
  • “You never celebrated him when he was alive. Stop hypocrisy. Rip young champ Kelvin Kiptum.”

Kelvin Kiptum was the first person to ever run a record-eligible marathon under 2:01 and was poised to be the first to run under the elusive two-hour barrier this year. 

Prior to his devastating death, Kiptum was preparing for the Rotterdam Marathon in April and the Paris Olympic Games in August. Kipchoge is currently gearing up for the Tokyo Marathon before likely being selected to Team Kenya for the Olympic Games Marathon.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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