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Eliud Kipchoge Speaks Out Against Online Abuse Following Tragic Death of Fellow Runner

Posted : 07 May 2024

Eliud Kipchoge, the two-time Olympic champion, opened up about the detrimental impact of online abuse on his career and mental well-being in the wake of fellow Kenyan marathon runner Kelvin Kiptum's tragic death. Kiptum, who held the marathon world record, passed away in a car accident at the age of 24 in February.


Speaking with BBC Sport Africa, Kipchoge expressed his shock and distress at the unfounded speculation linking him to Kiptum's demise, revealing fears for his family's safety amid threats and malicious comments circulating on social media platforms.


The onslaught of online abuse took a heavy toll on Kipchoge, causing him to endure significant psychological anguish and social isolation. He recounted receiving threats of violence directed towards his training camp, investments, home, and even his family. Moreover, Kipchoge lamented the loss of friendships, including those with fellow athletes he trained alongside, as they turned against him amid the baseless accusations circulating online.


Kipchoge disclosed that the relentless abuse contributed to a decline in his athletic performance, citing his disappointing 10th-place finish at the Tokyo marathon in March as evidence. Struggling with sleepless nights and profound emotional distress, Kipchoge described the Tokyo marathon as one of the lowest points in his career, emphasizing the detrimental impact of online harassment on his mental health and professional endeavors.


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