What you need to know:
- Acknowledging his new role as an Amazfit athlete, Kiptum noted that the new timing partnership would be essential in his attempt to run the marathon in under two hours at the April 14 Rotterdam Marathon.
- “Teaming up with Amazfit for this groundbreaking journey is truly exciting,” he said in his launch statement.
- “The Amazfit Cheetah Pro has become an integral part of my training regimen. As I aim to break the two-hour mark in Rotterdam and pursue gold at the Paris Olympics, I am confident that Amazfit will be my ultimate ally in pushing the limits of human potential. Together, we are set to redefine what's possible."
Kelvin Kiptum was cruising firmly on the highway to celebrity status.
He was already a superstar, his marathon world record run in Chicago last October catapulting him to near cult status in the running world.
Naturally, endorsements would flow in freely, and his Brussels-based management company – Golazo – was inundated with corporate offers.
On February 1, Kiptum signed a contract with Amazfit, a high-end Chinese sports watch whose manufacturers also penned a deal with organisers of the April 14 Rotterdam Marathon as official timing partner.
“Crafted for champions, this premium running watch brings you cutting-edge heart rate monitoring, pinpoint GPS accuracy, powerful 14-day battery life, and personalized AI-generated marathon training plans,” Amazfit said during the February 1 launch, trumpeting Kiptum as the appropriate ambassador for their technology.
“Training is just half of what makes a champion - to level-up his mental and physical recovery, Kelvin will also have the Amazfit Helio on-hand. Coming in Spring 2024, this high-tech smart ring is a gamechanger for athletes looking to dial-in on every factor that can help them recover better - and in turn, perform better,” the Chinese manufacturer noted, touting Kiptum as the “next big thing” after his world record run of two hours and 35 seconds at last October’s Chicago Marathon.
“When he achieved that record-breaking finishing time of 2:00:35 in Chicago in 2023, the Kenyan trailblazer forever wrote his name in the history books,” Amazfit noted.
“At only 24 years old, and with only three professional marathon races under his belt - including Valencia 2022 and London 2023 - Kelvin Kiptum has taken the running world by storm.
“And now, Amazfit will be right there with him through every pace, as Kiptum sets his sights on Rotterdam in April - where he aims to break the two-hour mark - before going for gold at this year's Olympics in Paris.”
Acknowledging his new role as an Amazfit athlete, Kiptum noted that the new timing partnership would be essential in his attempt to run the marathon in under two hours at the April 14 Rotterdam Marathon.
“Teaming up with Amazfit for this groundbreaking journey is truly exciting,” he said in his launch statement.
“The Amazfit Cheetah Pro has become an integral part of my training regimen. As I aim to break the two-hour mark in Rotterdam and pursue gold at the Paris Olympics, I am confident that Amazfit will be my ultimate ally in pushing the limits of human potential. Together, we are set to redefine what's possible."
Financial details of the deal haven’t been disclosed yet. Kiptum was also a Nike-sponsored athlete.
When breaking the world marathon record in Chicago last October, Kiptum ran in Nike Dev 163 prototype shoes, a version of the commercial Nike Alphafly 3 which was launched in January by the American sports goods manufacturer.
Nike described the show as “the fastest marathon shoe in the world… tested and proven by the fastest runners in the world.”
In running 2:00:35, Kiptum became the first athlete to break 2:01 in a record-eligible marathon.
He won the race by almost three and a half minutes and took 34 seconds off double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge’s previous world record.
By the time of his death, Kiptum held three of the seven fastest times in history to his name having also won the TCS London Marathon in April in 2:01:25 and was voted among the World Athletes of the Year for 2023 by World Athletics.
Naturally, he was destined to sign up more lucrative contacts.
As part of his strategic partnerships, like Kipchoge, Kiptum had also signed up with Maurten, a carbohydrate-rich sports drink popular with endurance athletes.
On January 14 this year, Kiptum unveiled his “number one” bib number for the April 14 Rotterdam marathon on his socials.
“Only three months to go and I’ll be wearing this bib number again in the streets of Rotterdam,” he wrote.
“Currently, my days consist of eat, sleep, train and repeat. My preparation is my main focus at the moment. I want to be the best version of myself when I start in Rotterdam.”
Sadly, he never lived to see the streets of Rotterdam again as he breathed his last on the Ravine-Eldoret road after Sunday night’s tragic road accident.
World Athletes of the Year for 2023:
Women’s track: Faith Kipyegon (Kenya, 1,500m/mile/5,000m);
Women’s field: Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela, triple jump);
Women’s out of stadia: Tigist Assefa (Ethiopia, marathon);
Men’s track: Noah Lyles, USA (100m/200m);
Men’s field: Mondo Duplantis (Sweden, pole vault);
Men’s out of stadia: Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya, marathon).
Rising Stars of 2023:
Emmanual Wanyonyi (800m)
Faith Cherotich (3,000m steeplechase)