April 20, 2024

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Kenya Mourns the Loss of Running Prodigy Kelvin Kiptum

Asenath Rotich, Kelvin Kiptum’s widow, led the mourners at his funeral, attempting to hold back tears. She burst into tears when she revealed that the couple had planned a lavish wedding in April.

Kiptum, 24, died in a car accident nearly a fortnight ago. He had stunned the world with his brief marathon career, and figures from sports and politics gathered to pay tribute to a man whose life had held so much promise.

Kenyan President William Ruto and Sebastian Coe, the head of athletics’ world governing body, were both in attendance.

The funeral took place at the showground in the village of Chepkorio, where Kiptum trained in western Kenya.

His widow stated that she and Kiptum, who married in 2017, had planned a “colorful wedding ceremony” in April. Her presence reminded everyone that the modest, soft-spoken star had also left his wife, two children, and parents behind.

Kenya is home to some of the world’s best runners, and many have come to pay their respects. Amos Kipruto, the 2022 London Marathon winner, was a pallbearer at the service.

Faith Kipyegon, a multiple world record holder, described Kiptum as “unique” and speculated on what might have been, claiming that this was the year the young long-distance runner would break the two-hour barrier in the marathon.

Kiptum completed his first marathon in December 2022, recording the fastest debut time. He then broke the London course record last year and will break the world record, held by Kenyan legend Eliud Kipchoge, in October 2023. In less than a year, he completed three of the world’s fastest seven marathons

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