President William Ruto has urged Kenyan athletes set to participate in the upcoming Paris Olympics to make it a competition that honors the legacy of the late World Marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum.

Speaking at Kiptum’s funeral service, President Ruto expressed the nation’s hope that Kiptum would have continued Kenya’s legacy of athletic excellence in the Olympics. He emphasized that Paris 2024 should serve as a defining moment for Kiptum’s memory.

“Kelvin had just joined the many heroes we have… We had hope and faith that he would keep Kenya on that map even in the coming Olympics,” Ruto stated. “But since we have you our athletes, Paris is going to be the Olympics that is going to define this man Kelvin. We want you to make Paris an Olympics of Kelvin Kiptum.”

Kiptum tragically passed away earlier this month in a road accident, along with his coach Gervais Hakizimana. Their deaths have deeply affected the sports community, with many mourning the loss of a promising talent.

The funeral service, attended by dignitaries including World Athletics head Sebastian Coe and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, highlighted Kiptum’s potential as an athlete and his contributions to his community.

Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei expressed regret over Kiptum’s absence from the forthcoming Paris Marathon, urging athletes to compete in his honor. Tuwei also announced the launch of the Kelvin Kiptum Foundation, aimed at supporting education and infrastructure projects in memory of the late athlete.

The government’s support for Kiptum’s family was underscored, with President Ruto acknowledging the construction of a house for them and the full coverage of burial expenses.

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