Home » Kelvin Kiptum dies: Sir Mo Farah says Kenyan was a ‘special talent’

Kelvin Kiptum dies: Sir Mo Farah says Kenyan was a ‘special talent’

Farah, Britain’s four-time Olympic champion over 5,000 and 10,000m, finished ninth in last year’s London Marathon – a race Kiptum won in a course record time of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds.

“He truly had a special talent and I have no doubt he would have gone on to have had an incredible career,” Farah said.

“I send all my sympathies and condolences to his and Gervais’ family and friends at this tragic time.”

Kiptum also broke the record for fastest debut marathon in Valencia in 2022 before bettering Kipchoge’s overall record in Chicago in October last year, clocking the 26.2 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds.

Just last week, his team announced he would attempt to become the first person to run the distance in less than two hours in open competition.

Hugh Brasher, London Marathon event director, said Kiptum “had the sport of marathon running in his feet and at his feet.”

Brasher added: “He was a once-in-a-generation athlete who was set to redefine the boundaries of our sport.

“His was a flame that burned so bright and was tragically put out.

“As a sport we mourn for a life so tragically cut short, a talent and a work ethos that was only starting to be appreciated and a man that we had only just started to know.”

Britain’s Emile Cairess, who finished sixth in London last year behind Kiptum, said the Kenyan could have become “Usain Bolt-esque” as a “figurehead of athletics”.

“It’s a massive blow because at his level, someone can really capture the attention of people outside off the sport,” Cairess told the BBC.

“Many people thought they would never see a sub two-hour marathon in their lifetimes but since he came along, it’s like it was just a given that he would do it because of his exceptional performances so far.

“It was almost certain that he would have done it. It’s terribly sad and a real shame that we won’t get to see him again or to attack that barrier.”