Be mindful of your lifestyles, Ruto urges athletes

President William Ruto, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi arrive for the burial ceremony of Marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum on Feb 23, 2024. [PCS]

President William Ruto has urged Kenyan sportsmen and women to be mindful of their lifestyles.

Speaking during the burial ceremony of marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, Ruto said worth noting that athletics is a sport that needs great dedication and discipline.

“We all need to be mindful of our lifestyle so that we can avoid instances like this where at a very young age, a promising young Kenyan has lost his life,” said Ruto.

Ruto’s sentiments come amid speculations that the late Kiptum was driving under the influence of alcohol before he lost control of the car landing in a ditch.

Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor while releasing the autopsy results said samples collected from Kiptum's body would be taken for toxicology analysis.

Speaking at Eldoret Hospital morgue where the autopsy was done, Oduor said an analysis of the samples would show whether Kiptum, who was the driver of the ill-fated Toyota Premio, was intoxicated.

Kiptum died of severe head, spine and rib injuries. He sustained skull fractures and broken ribs during the accident that happened at Flax junction along Eldoret-Eldama Ravine road on February 11.

While promising to ensure the sporting fraternity is well taken care of, President Ruto said with better lifestyles, the sportsmen and women would become great ambassadors of the country.

Ruto further challenged coaches and managers to play a central role in ensuring that the well-being of the athletes is taken care of.

“I want to challenge the older sportsmen and women to play a key role in guiding the young athletes. As government we will do our part and implore on all of you to actively do your part,” said Ruto.

The Head of State described Kiptum as a dedicated person who worked against all odds to become a World Record holder.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagu, Prime CS Musalia Mudavadi, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and his Roads counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen were present.

Kiptum has left behind a widow and two children whom the government has promised to support fully.

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