In Summary
  • Kipchoge is preparing to compete in Sunday’s Tokyo Marathon
  • His strongest challenge in this year’s race is expected to come from fellow Kenyans Vincent Ngetich, Timothy Kiplagat and Benson Kipruto
  • Kipchoge returns to Tokyo for the first time since breaking the course record in 2022

 Double Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge on Friday paid tribute to Kelvin Kiptum after the world record-holder died last month when his car crashed into a tree.

Kelvin Kiptum  and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a road accident.

He died just months after beating Kipchoge’s world record and the two were expected to face off for the first time at this year’s Paris Olympics.

READ also:‘’I Promise To Gather My Strength For The Sake Of Our Children’’ Kiptum’s Widow

Kipchoge’s Tribute To Kiptum

The 39-year-old Kipchoge said it was “unfortunate that he left here”.

“His career was in high spirits and he was really running on a high level,” he said.

Although Kiptum only competed in three marathons, he won all of them and posted three of the seven fastest times in history.

The father of two was driving in the Rift Valley, the heartland of Kenyan distance running, when his car careered off the road.

Kipchoge On This Year’s Olympic

Kipchoge said this year’s Olympic marathon would be “a little bit different” following Kiptum’s death.

“There were high expectations,” said Kipchoge, who won Olympic gold at the 2016 Rio Games and again five years late Hassan, who won in Chicago in the second-fastest women’s time in history, said she was “heartbroken” by Kiptum’s death.

Fellow Athletes Pay Tribute

He stood on the podium alongside Chicago women’s champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who is also competing in Tokyo.

Hassan, who won in Chicago in the second-fastest women’s time in history, said she was “heartbroken” by Kiptum’s death.

“When he broke the world record in Chicago I shared it with him,” she said.

“He was so young and he was showing the world what was possible. It’s very hard.”

His strongest challenge in this year’s race is expected to come from fellow Kenyans Vincent Ngetich, Timothy Kiplagat and Benson Kipruto.

 

 

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