London Marathon champion Alexander Munyao dedicates victory to late Kelvin Kiptum

London Marathon champion Alexander Munyao dedicates victory to late Kelvin Kiptum

Mark Kinyanjui 21:00 - 22.04.2024

Munyao has dedicated his victory in London to the late Kelvin Kiptum.

Alexander Munyao, the latest London Marathon champion, has revealed that the memory of his late friend, Kelvin Kiptum, inspired him to secure victory in Sunday's prestigious race held on April 21st.

Munyao clinched the title in an impressive time of 2:04:01, taking over the crown previously held by Kiptum, who tragically passed away last February in Uasin Gishu county, Kenya.

The 27-year-old athlete was keen to make a strong statement to bolster his case for Olympic selection. With just 2 kilometers remaining, Munyao made a decisive move to distance himself from his competitors, including Kenenisa Bekele and held on to claim victory.

While Munyao had shown promising performances in the Prague and Valencia Marathons in 2023, he was yet to secure a win in a World Major event. However, his triumph in London has now strengthened his bid for a spot in the Kenyan team heading to the Paris Olympic Games.

Reflecting on his victory, Munyao expressed his emotions and dedicated his win to his late friend, Kiptum. “He was in my thoughts because he is my friend. I debuted against him in Valencia the first time he won. He came here to London and won and then achieved a world record again (in New York),” Munyao said.

“Let him rest in peace. It is unfortunate that he left us. He is always in my thoughts every time because he is my great friend.”

Munyao emphasized the significance of his London Marathon victory.

 “This is the biggest in my career because it is my first world major marathon and I have won, so it was a good day for me,” he said.

Despite the competition and the challenge posed by familiar faces, Munyao maintained confidence in his abilities. 

“There was a little fear because I know him and he is a great man but I said I would be confident till the last minute,” he added.

Looking ahead, Munyao hopes that his performance in London will earn him a spot on the Kenyan Olympic team. 

Munayo was on Athletics Kenya’s shortlist for selection to Paris. but the case against him was that despite strong runs at the Prague Marathon and Valencia Marathon in 2023, he’d yet to get it done at a World Major. 

His only prior World Marathon Major race was a DNF at the 2020 Tokyo Marathon.

“I think the Kenya team should consider me. If they do, I will be okay with it and I hope for the best,” Munyao remarked.

“If they select me, I will go and work hard for it. If I finish in a podium place, I will be very happy with it, and my fellow Kenyans will be happy for me.”