Kelvin Kiptum: Kipchoge, Kipyegon, Noah Lyles, Mo Farah Lead Tributes to Kenyan Star

Kelvin Kiptum: Kipchoge, Kipyegon, Noah Lyles, Mo Farah Lead Tributes to Kenyan Star

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • The world 0of athletics is mourning the death of Kelvin Kiptum
  • The Kenyan marathon star died in a road accident on Sunday
  • Eliud Kipchoge has led athletes in paying tribute to the athlete

The world of sports woke up to the news of Kelvin Kiptum's tragic death, which happened on Sunday night in a road accident.

Athletics stars around the globe offered their condolences after the news was confirmed. He passed away alongside his coach, Rwanda's Gervais Hakizimana.

Olympic champions like Eliud Kipchoge, Faith Kipyegon, and Mo Farah led the tributes to the 24-year-old world record holder of the marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge, Kelvin Kiptum, Mo Farah, Beatrice Chebet, Joshua Cheptegei, Sifan Hassan
Kelvin Kiptum was tipped to win multiple Olympic medals like Eliud Kipchoge and Sir Mo Farah. Photos by Lintao Zhang, Michael Reaves, and Andrew Redington.
Source: Getty Images

Kiptum's career was taking off. His first three marathons catapulted him to global superstardom.

In December 2022, he participated in his first marathon in Valencia. He clocked 2:01:53, the fasted marathon debut. In April 2023, he clocked the then-second-fastest marathon ever (2:01:25).

In October, Kiptum shattered the men's marathon world record by 34 seconds. He clocked 2:00:35 to break Eliud Kipchoge's record set in 2022 in Berlin, per World Athletics.

Kiptum was touted as the successor to Kipchoge, the veteran marathoner, who has dominated the sport for a decade.

Kelvin Kiptum honoured

Kiptum's death left the athletics world in disbelief. What makes it sadder is that World Athletics ratified his world record earlier last week, months after the 2023 Chicago Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge's tribute

The 39-year-old was expected to face Kiptum at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but fans will never witness that epic showdown. The double Olympic champion and winner of 16 marathons paid a beautiful tribute to his compatriot.

Faith Kipyegon

Kipyegon and Kiptum were arguably the best athletes in 2023. Kipyegon broke three world records and won two gold medals at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The two Kenyan stars attended the 2023 World Athletics Awards in December.

"Condolences to the family and friends of Kelvin Kiptum. You will be missed by all in the athletics community. Rest in Peace." ❤️

Mo Farah

Four-time Olympic and six-time world champions said Kiptum could've had a great career.

"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."

Abdi Nageeye

The Dutch Olympic medalist said he recently trained close to where the tragic accident happened in Kaptagat, Kenya. Nageeye was set to face Kiptum at the Rotterdam Marathon in April.

"I kept it double checking, so unreal 😢, @kelvinkiptumcheruiyot passed away, that spot, less then a km away where I did my two laps for a 40km run yesterday!"

Sifan Hassan

The Dutch track and road star won the 2023 Chicago Marathon in October 2023. Hassan clocked the second fastest time (2:13:44) in the women's marathon on the same day Kiptum shattered the men's world record.

Beatrice Chebet

Chebet, who recently broke the women's 5km world record, paid her tribute.

Joshua Cheptegei

Ugandan world and Olympic champion was "heartbroken" after learning the news.

Geoffrey Kamworor

The cross-country star and two-time New York City Marathon champion sent his condolences to Kiptum's family.

Other tributes to Kiptum

American sprinters Noah Lyles and Kenny Bednarek expressed their sympathies. Julius Yego, Soufiane El Bakkali, and other athletes paid tribute to Kiptum.

Kenyan athletes who died in their prime

Sports Brief has also earlier reported on Kenyan athletes who passed away in their prime after Kiptum's untimely demise in an accident while travelling.

2008 Olympic champion, Samuel Wanjiru, died in 2011 after falling from his balcony in Nyahururu, while Agnes Tirop is among others who died in their prime.

Nicholas Bett tragically died in 2018, shortly after becoming the first Kenyan to win gold at the World Athletics Championships in a race under 800m.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.