Kenenisa Bekele honours Kelvin Kiptum ahead of London Marathon

Kenenisa Bekele honours Kelvin Kiptum ahead of London Marathon

Festus Chuma 19:10 - 19.04.2024

Kenenisa Bekele has honoured the late Kelvin Kiptum's legacy ahead of a poignant London Marathon, reflecting on his profound impact on running.

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele has expressed profound sentiments as he prepares for the upcoming London Marathon set for Sunday.

The marathon will be marked this year by the absence of world record holder Kelvin Kiptum whose life tragically ended in a car accident in February.

Kiptum, only 24 at the time of his death, had set a staggering course record at last year's London Marathon and had become a prominent figure in the sport.

Speaking to reporters, Bekele underscored the deep respect and admiration he and his fellow athletes hold for Kiptum.

“Kelvin of course, all of us miss him. Even within his short time, he has been setting an amazing history,” Bekele reflected.

 “The course record is also under his name and we are all remembering him."

Bekele added that Kiptum’s impact transcends his record-setting performances.

 “We put him in a special place in our heart because in a really short time he has done a lot for our sport,” he said.

With the race ahead, Bekele is aware of the challenges in surpassing the benchmarks set by Kiptum. 

The course in London demands a strategic approach, something Bekele is well accustomed to. 

“Most of the time in London, maybe the first half is a very fast start because of pacing, but with me it can depend,” he explained.

Other top contenders, such as Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola, the reigning New York Marathon champion, are also entering the race with high expectations. 

Tola, optimistic about his preparation, remains focused on the present challenge. 

“My training is OK and my body is okay, so we will see (what happens) on Sunday,” he noted.

Before the race starts, memory of Kiptum will be honored with 30 seconds of applause a moment meant to reflect on his contributions and celebrate his life. 

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