LIVE: Ruto- Make 2024 Olympics A Kelvin Kiptum Olympics

The late Kiptum will be laid to rest in Naiberi in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, where the government has built a new home for his family.

LIVE: Ruto- Make 2024 Olympics A Kelvin Kiptum Olympics
The procession for late world record holder Kelvin Kiptum on February 22, 2024. /PHOTO

The funeral service of the late world marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum is currently taking place at the Chepkorio showgrounds in Keiyo South as the country pays its final respects to the 24-year-old who died in a road accident on Sunday, February 11.

The venue was moved from the initial Chepsamo grounds at the last minute on Thursday, February 22 after strong winds impacted the Chepsamo venue, wreaking havoc on property including tents erected on the grounds.

Kiptum rose to fame after winning all of his races and breaking records in the process. In October 2023, he became a global sensation when he smashed the world record held by the legendary Eliud Kipchoge by running 2:00:35 to clinch the Chicago Marathon title on his debut.

He was expected to be the next legendary athlete who would take the country's athletics industry to greater heights. However, his demise stunned the whole country as well as the sporting world and for nearly two weeks, there was widespread mourning.

The late Kiptum will be laid to rest in Naiberi in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, where the government has built a new home for his family.

A view of the completed version of the late Kelvin Kiptum's house. /VIRAL TEA KE

Among the guests to grace the ceremony, which is a state-accorded funeral in his honour, include President William Ruto and World Athletics head Sebastian Coe.

Keep refreshing this page as Viral Tea provides you with the latest updates, reactions and analysis of the funeral service of the late Kelvin Kiptum:

4.31 pm: The funeral service is over. A section of mourners are led to the newly-constructed house of the late Kiptum as his body is moved to his home for burial rites. 

3.39 pm: President Ruto reinstates the Sports Funds to deal with matters sports and instructs CS Namwamba to review the reward system to put up a pension scheme for all athletes. 

3.01 pm: President Ruto gifts Kiptum's family Ksh5 million, adding that his government would build another house for him.

"I have already given the family Ksh5 million and now the government will give him another new house beside the house we have built here and it will belong to his wife," Ruto announced.

2.36 pm: President William Ruto urges athletes to make the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics a Kelvin Kiptum Olympics.

2.10 pm: CS Ababu Namwamba pays tribute to late world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and assures mourners that the government honoured Kiptum when he was alive.

“Kiptum has unified our country in life and also in death”

2.03 pm: Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen calls for Kenyan athletes to be absorbed in government roles, hailing the difference they have made through sports.

"Sometimes we have over-glorified class education to the extent that we deny these athletes opportunities to serve in government just because of lack of paper. Their running exploits must count for something and must be rewarded to be a certificate."

1.52 pm: Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor, Wisley Rotich appeals to the Ministry of Sports to have a department for hiring and training coaches, stating that there are retired Kenyan athletes who have the capability of becoming coaches and managers.

1:46 pm: Sports CS Ababu Namwamba pays tribute to Kiptum and assures mourners that the government will fulfil its promises to the athlete's family. 

12:49 pm: World Athletics President Sebastian Coe reaffirms that Kelvin Kiptum's achievements are secure in the annals of history. 

“Kelvin, you will be missed. Our grief and sadness will take time to dissipate, rest assured, your achievements are treasured, indelible and secure in the annals of our history and never forgotten," he stated. 

12.39 pm: Jackson Tuwei, the President of Athletics Kenya, requests the Governor of Elgeyo-Marakwet County, Wisley Rotich, to consider employing the wife of Kiptum within the county so that she can continue taking care of her children.

12:26 pm: Keiyo South MP Gideon Kimaiyo appeals to President William Ruto to build a stadium in the athlete's honour.

12:04 pm: The athlete's children, Caleb and Precious, pay tribute to their father, noting that he was their role model. 

12.00 pm: Kelvin Kiptum's wife Asenath Rotich breaks down while eulogising him. She revealed that they had planned to have a colourful wedding ceremony in April 2024.

11.51 am: Kelvin Kiptum's eulogy is currently being read out.

11.47 am: Athletes gather around the coffin of the late Kelvin Kiptum and sprinkle flowers as the choir sings songs in honour of the departed athlete. The priest also prays for the well-being of all athletes. 

11.00 am: President William Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and Foreign Affairs CS Musalia Mudavadi arrive at Chepkorio Showgrounds.

10:24 am: A grave site is currently being prepared at Kiptum's home in Naiberi where the house was constructed by the government. 

9:56 am: Cabinet Secretaries Ababu Namwamba (Sports) and Florence Bore (Labour) view the body as they pay their final respects. 

President William Ruto and his Deputy, Rigathi Gachagua arrive at Kelvin Kiptum's funeral on February 23, 2024. /VIRAL TEA KE