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Kenya in mourning again: Veteran athlete dies days after Kelvin Kiptum

Kenya has been thrown into mourning again following the death of one of its former elite athletes Henry Rono which occurred on Thursday, February 15, at 1030am.

Athletics Kenya announced the passing, declaring that he was pronounced dead at Nairobi South Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment.

“Athletic Kenya is saddened to announce and notify the public about the death of the demise of former athlete Mr Henry Rono which occurred today at 10:30ma,” the statement read.

Rono was a retired track and field athlete who specialized in various long-distance running events.

He is remembered as one of the most prolific collegiate competitors in the history of track in the United States as well as being the former record holder for the 3000 metres steeplechase for over a decade.

His 3000 meters steeplechase world record (8:05.4) stood for eleven years, until 2023, but still stands as the collegiate record.

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Athletics Kenya says that Rono set the world record for 5,000 meters twice, which is in 1978, and then again in 1981.

“On behalf of the Athletics Kenya Executive Committee and athletic fraternity, we wish to convey our sincere heartfelt condolence to his family, friends, and the entire athletic fraternity during this trying time.”

He was coaching high school athletics in New Mexico and was pursuing a graduate degree in special education before his death.

Rono’s death comes as the county continues to mourn the death of the elite world record holder Kelvin Kiptum which occurred on February 11 following a grisly road accident while heading to Eldama-Ravine.

The country and the entire world as shocked by his death, and the state has said that it will officer him an iconic sendoff.

The cabinet meeting said that Kiptum was a sporting powerhouse whose record-shattering achievements inspired millions around the world.

“In honour of Kenya’s departed world marathon record holder, a true national hero, the Government will support Kiptum’s family in giving him a befitting heroic farewell.”