“Four Strangers” Who Visited Kelvin Kiptum’s Home Days Prior To His Death Identified

The group were there to discuss an unfulfilled business contract with a Chinese sports equipment company

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In the wake of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum’s tragic demise, a veil of mystery surrounded the unexpected visit of four individuals to his family’s residence just days before the fatal accident

However, as authorities delve deeper into the matter, the purpose behind their presence emerges, shedding light on a business negotiation their company had with Kiptum.

Initially believed to have been arrested, the quartet voluntarily surrendered themselves after being summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) office in Kaptagat for questioning and dispelling any notions of secrecy or malintent. 

"Four Strangers" Who Visited Kelvin Kiptum's Home Days Prior To His Death Identified 1

Their mission, it appears, was rooted in a contractual dispute involving a substantial sum of money – a deal between Kiptum and a Chinese sportswear company valued at over $300,000.

According to reports, the Chinese company had entered into an agreement with Kiptum to supply sports equipment for the 2023 Chicago Marathon, where he eventually went on to break the world record. 

However, tensions arose when Kiptum expressed his preference for a different brand, prompting the company to dispatch the four men to negotiate terms directly with the athlete.

The brand has not been identified. Chinese brand Amazfit had announced at the beginning of Februrary, prior to Kiptum’s death, that it had partnered with the marathoner on a new GPS running watch called the Cheetah Pro. Amazfit posted a tribute to Kiptum on its website on Feb. 13.

“The heart of the matter was a deal Kiptum had signed with the Chinese firm to supply him with sports equipment for the Chicago Marathon,” explained Elgeyo Marakwet County Criminal Investigations Officer, Joshua Chelal.

"Four Strangers" Who Visited Kelvin Kiptum's Home Days Prior To His Death Identified 2

While suspicions initially clouded the nature of their visit, further investigation revealed a legitimate attempt to resolve the contractual impasse.

Kipyegon Lagat, the lawyer representing the visitors, affirmed that the encounter was marked by “fruitful discussions,” emphasizing the amicable reception they received from Kiptum’s family.

“The meeting lasted three hours,” Lagat said, dispelling rumors of ulterior motives or undue influence. “My clients had a fruitful discussion with Kiptum’s family. They were warmly received by his parents and widow, who even offered them food.”

Acknowledging the legitimacy of their business dealings, authorities assured the public and the grieving family that the visitors’ intentions were not veiled in deception or malicious intent.

"Four Strangers" Who Visited Kelvin Kiptum's Home Days Prior To His Death Identified 3

Despite initial concerns expressed by Kiptum’s father, Samson Cheruiyot, regarding the presence of unfamiliar faces at their home, subsequent inquiries affirmed the acquaintanceship between the visitors and certain family members.

“Cheruiyot’s call for an investigation into the matter led to the identification of the visitors and the detention of their vehicle at Kaptagat Police Station,” revealed Festus Chuma, providing insight into the sequence of events that followed.

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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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