Eliud Kipchoge - Why my family feels threatened after Kelvin Kiptum's death

Piece by: BBC

• "I got really scared of my children going to school and coming back."

Eliud Kipchoge
Image: Instagram

Two-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has recounted his distress over false accusations linking him to the tragic death of fellow Kenyan marathoner Kelvin Kiptum, prompting fears for his family's safety amidst online abuse.

"I was shocked that people on social media platforms are saying 'Eliud is involved in the death of this boy'," Kipchoge revealed, expressing the gravity of the situation.

Facing threats of violence and property destruction, Kipchoge's immediate concern was the safety of his family. "I don't have power to go to police and tell them my life is in danger. So my concern was actually to tell my family to be extra conscious and cautious," he told BBC Sport Africa.

Despite enduring slander and betrayal from acquaintances, Kipchoge remained resolute, opting not to alter his training routines for fear of further persecution. "I saw no meaning to change training venues because my life is open," he asserted, stating his commitment to transparency.

Kelvin Kiptum
Image: Instagram

Yet, the toll on his emotional well-being was profound, evident in his candid account of reaching out to his mother for solace. "My worst moment was (when) I tried to call my mum," he confided, reflecting on the far-reaching impact of social media's toxicity.

While Kipchoge's competitive spirit remained undaunted, the ordeal took its toll, with his performance in the Tokyo Marathon suffering amidst the psychological strain. "When I was in Tokyo I had three days which I did not sleep," he revealed, highlighting the tangible repercussions.

However, amidst the adversity, Kipchoge finds solace in the IOC's proactive measures to combat online abuse ahead of Paris 2024, albeit acknowledging the scars left by the ordeal.

"I learned that friendship cannot be forever," he lamented, grappling with the erosion of trust in the wake of the ordeal.

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