Deputy President William Ruto, Sports Cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed and National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat have joined other sports men and women to mourn the death of former Olympics champion Ben Jipcho.
Jipcho, the 1972 Olympics 3,000m steeplechase silver medalist died on Friday morning in an Eldoret hospital following his admission on Thursday.
Ruto on his twitter account wrote
@WilliamsRuto· We are heartbroken by the passing of a champion and one of Kenya’s athletics powerhouses, Ben Webura Jipcho.
His daughter Ruth Jipcho, the legendary athlete died at 3am on Friday morning at the hospital where he was at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Amina said on twitter
@AMB_A_Mohammed It is with profound sadness that I’ve learnt of the passing of legendary athlete #BenJipcho this morning. #HeroJipcho will be celebrated as one of Kenya’s most accomplished athletes whose excellence put Kenya on the global sporting map as early as 1968 at the Mexico City Olympic Games.”
“Our father had been sick for a while. He lost the battle at 3.00am in the morning,” said Ruth.
Jipcho developed stomach problems and was rushed to a Hospital in Kitale where he was referred to Eldoret after his condition worsened.
Tergat, mourned Jipcho as the founding father of athletics in Kenya who opened global doors to Kenyan athletes.
“We are saddened by the loss of Jipcho, a pioneer of athletics in Kenya. My heartfelt condolences to his family and Kenyans at large.”
He will be well remembered after he sacrificed a chances of winning a medal to his compatriot Kipchoge Keino in the 1,500m race during the 1968 Olympics Games before he won silver in the 3,000m steeplechase at the 1970 Edinburg Commonwealth Games before bagging silver medal at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games in the 3,000m steeplechase.
In 1973, he won gold in 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase during the All Africa Games in Lagos, Nigeria.
In 1974 he bagged gold medals in the 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase races and a bronze medal in the 1,500m race during the Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand