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Athletes Mourn As Memorial Service Is Held in Kenya for Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum

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Raw emotions and abundant tears filled the Iten Stadium in Kenya on Thursday as athletes, residents, and loved ones gathered to bid farewell to Kelvin Kiptum, the 24-year-old world marathon record holder, and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, who tragically lost their lives in a recent car accident.

Athletes Mourn As Memorial Service Is Held in Kenya for Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum

Kiptum’s untimely passing, occurring just months after his remarkable achievement of setting a men’s world record in the Chicago Marathon, has left the sports world reeling. His aspirations for the upcoming Paris Olympics and his ambitious goal to conquer the 42-kilometer distance in under two hours in the Rotterdam marathon marked him as a rising star in the field of road running.

Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, a fellow marathon runner, expressed the profound impact of Kiptum’s absence on future sporting events, lamenting, “I think the Olympics will not be the same again because many people were expecting a big battle from various athletes and strong athletes.”

Kelvin kiptum
Kiptum

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The memorial service at Iten served as the initial step in Kiptum’s journey home, with his casket being transported from a morgue in Eldoret to his final resting place on his farm in Naiberi. Family members, athletes, and friends gathered to accompany him on this solemn procession, paying tribute to his remarkable achievements and vibrant spirit.

Wilson Kipsang, another athlete, highlighted the tragedy of Kiptum’s fate, stating, “I know how it feels for somebody who has broken the world record and just to die in a road accident, it’s very sad. So as an athlete, we have come here to give him a good send-off.”

Athletes Mourn As Memorial Service Is Held in Kenya for Record Holder Kelvin KiptumAs the community prepares for Kiptum’s main funeral on Friday, anticipation looms for the attendance of President William Ruto, underscoring the magnitude of Kiptum’s impact both within the sporting realm and beyond.

In the wake of this devastating loss, the resilience of the athletic community shines through as they come together to honor the memory of Kelvin Kiptum, a promising talent extinguished far too soon.

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