The World Reacts To The Passing Of Kelvin Kiptum

The running community has taken to social media to pay tribute to the young legend.

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The news of Kiptum’s untimely passing sent shockwaves through the global athletics community, prompting an outpouring of grief and tributes from fellow athletes, officials, and fans alike. 

Messages of condolence are flooding social media platforms as friends, colleagues, and admirers pay homage to the departed athlete and his coach.

Kiptum made his World Marathon Majors debut at the 2023 London Marathon, where he ran a course record and third-fastest marathon ever with a time of 2:01:35. This was just his second marathon ever.

Kiptum and his compatriot and former world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, were set to go head-to-head for the first time on the world’s biggest stage at the Olympic Games this summer.

Kipchoge posted his condolences on Instagram, where he has been met with some criticism. When Kiptum took down Kipchoge’s world record, it took some time for him to offer Kiptum his congratulations, but just a few hours to offer his condolences, which the running world has not let go unnoticed.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe mourned the loss, acknowledging Kiptum’s indelible legacy and expressing profound sorrow on behalf of the entire athletics family.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” Coe said. “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the Kenyan nation.”

“On behalf of all our colleagues and his friends at Golazo (Management Group), we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and all in the athletics family,” Bob Verbeeck, Kiptum’s manager, said in a statement after describing him as a “beloved friend.”

Nike, Kiptum’s primary sponsor, who helped propel him to global stardom by making him the face of the Alphafly 3, released the following statement on it’s Nike Running Instagram account:

Many athletes woke up on Monday morning to the devastating news that they lost a friend, co-competitor and team mate. Ugandan great Joshua Cheptegei, who trains in Kenya and recently moved up to the marathon distance, posted this:

World record holder in the 800m and fellow Kenyan David Rudisha took to X to provide his condolences as well:

As did mutliple Olympic medalist Mo Farah:

Kiptum’s NN Running Team echoed the sentiments of the world in their social media post, paying tribute to the world record holder and his coach.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, echoing the sentiments of a nation in mourning, hailed Kiptum as a true hero whose legacy would forever endure. 

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

“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.”

Kiptum was slated to make his sub-two attempt in April at the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon. It would have been his first race following his record-breaking performance in Chicago and prelude his Olympic debut, where he was pinned as the race favorite.

Kiptum’s death has even touched those who were not previously widely known to be fans of distance running. Controversial TV personality Piers Morgan posted his condolences upon learning of the news:

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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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