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Omanyala pays tribute to the late marathoner Kelvin Kiptum

By Wangu Kanuri February 12th, 2024 2 min read

Ferdinand Omanyala, the record holder for Africa in the 100 meters, has expressed his sorrow over the passing of his fellow athlete, Kelvin Kiptum.

In a post on his social media, Omanyala paid tribute to Kiptum, the World Marathon record holder, hailing him as a hero who represented Kenya with pride. He noted the profound difficulty of Kiptum’s loss.

Further, Omanyala reflected on the valuable insights he gained from Kiptum, stating that he inspired them with the belief in their potential. Omanyala affirmed that this belief would endure, even in the wake of his departure.

“Waking to the shocking news of the untimely demise of my teammate in athletics, a hero who proudly represented Kenya, was difficult. Your life embodied the resilient spirit of our nation, and in our hearts, you will never be gone. You reminded us that it is possible, and we believed. We will always believe! We mourn your loss deeply; the nation grieves and I personally feel the pain. Rest in peace Kelvin. My heartfelt condolences to your family,” he wrote.

Kiptum made history by becoming the first person to finish a marathon in under two hours and one minute, setting a remarkable time of 2:00:35 at the Chicago Marathon on October 8, 2023. This achievement surpassed Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record of 2:01:49.
Earlier in the year, Kiptum had also eclipsed Kipchoge’s record at the London Marathon, securing victory in the British capital with a time of 2:01:25 on April 23, 2023.

Kiptum and his coach from Rwanda, Gervais Hakizimana, lost their lives in a traffic collision in the Kaptagat region along the Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road. The incident, as reported by Elgeyo Marakwet Police Commander Peter Mulinge, took place on Sunday at 11 pm.

“This was a self-involved accident where one Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was driving his vehicle with two passengers. Kiptym and Hakizimana died on the spot and the third person was rushed to Racecourse Hospital in Eldoret,” said Mr Mulinge.