Athletics Kenya reveals how they plan to help Olympics marathon team cope with Kelvin Kiptum’s death

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ATHLETICS Athletics Kenya reveals how they plan to help Olympics marathon team cope with Kelvin Kiptum’s death

Joel Omotto 08:00 - 24.02.2024

Athletics Kenya has explained the plans they have to ensure Kenya’s Olympics marathon team is not greatly affected by the untimely death of their colleague Kelvin Kiptum.

Athletics Kenya (AK) intends to have a sit down with Kenyan’s marathon team to the Paris 2024 Olympics to help them overcome the shock and grief of losing their colleague Kelvin Kiptum.

Kiptum had been named in Kenya’s provisional Olympic marathon team alongside two-time champion Eliud Kipchoge, Vincent Ngetich, second at the Berlin Marathon last year, Rotterdam Marathon runners-up Timothy Kiplagat, former Chicago and Boston Marathon champion Benson Kipruto, Bernard Koech, two-time New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor, Cyprian Kotut, 2022 London Marathon champion Amos Kipruto and Titus Kipruto.

The women’s team had defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, New York Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, former world record holder Brigid Kosgei, Tokyo Marathon champion Rosemary Wanjiru, former world champion Marathon Ruth Chepng’etich, former world half marathon record holder Joycilline Jepkosgei, Sheila Chepkirui, Judith Jeptum Korir, Selly Chepyego and Sharon Lokedi.

While the final team is yet to be named, Kiptum was certain to be included, which meant a strategy had already started being laid before his untimely death following a road accident, and AK wants to ensure those who will represent the country are in the right state of mind.

“What we need to do and we have already started doing is to bring the athletes together, particularly those who are going to run the marathon,” AK boss Jack Tuwei told NTV.

“Because we had already selected the team, we need to bring them together to advise them and tell them to be courageous, to run together and boldly.

“If we have to remember and honour Kiptum, the best thing they can do is to run and win.”

Kiptum’s death does not just scuttle the plan of the runners but also AK, who will have to perhaps revise their targets based on those who will make the final team of three to Paris.

Kiptum and Kipchoge had been seen as a sure bet for gold but in his absence, Kenya will need to look at who among the other runners is capable of reaching such heights alongside the defending champion.

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