From online torture to death threats – Kipchoge reveals depth of abuse on the aftermath of Kiptum’s demise

7th May 2024

Kipchoge divulged that he did not sleep for three days due to the abuse before competing at the Tokyo Marathon.

Eliud Kipchoge. PHOTO| AFP
Eliud Kipchoge. PHOTO| AFP
  • Eliud Kipchoge stated that he received death threats on social media after Kelvin Kiptum’s demise.
  • He explained how he was worried about the safety of his family.
  • Kiptum died on February 11, 2024 after being involved in a road accident.

Two-time Olympic Games champion Eliud Kipchoge has disclosed that he received a lot of online abuse after the tragic demise of former world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum.

Kiptum, who set the current world record of 2:00.35, died alongside his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana after they were involved in a road accident on February 11 this year.

In an interview with BBC Sport Africa, Kipchoge divulged that some of the people even wanted to kill his family.

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“I was shocked that people [on] social media platforms are saying ‘Eliud is involved in the death of this boy. That was the worst news ever in my life.

I received a lot of bad things; that they will burn the (training) camp, they will burn my investments in town, they will burn my house, and they will burn my family. It did not happen but that is how the world is,” he was quoted.

The 39-year-old added that he was worried about the safety and welfare of his kids and even started to take some measures to protect them.

“I got really scared of my children going to school and coming back. Sometimes they bike around, but we had to stop them because you never know what will happen. We started to drop them [off] and pick them [up] in the evening.

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My girl was in boarding school - that was positive that she had no access as far as social media is concerned – but it’s tough for my boys to hear ‘Your dad has killed somebody’.”

Moreover, Kipchoge revealed that the social media abuse had a huge impact on his performance at the 2024 Tokyo Marathon, where he finished 10th, clocking one of the slowest times in his road-running career.

“When I was in Tokyo I had three days which I did not sleep. It was my worst ever position,” noted the multiple Berlin Marathon winner in the emotional interview.

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