Ugandan athletes are grieving the untimely death of Benjamin Kiplagat, a prominent 3,000-meter steeplechase champion who was tragically murdered in Eldoret, Kenya. Kiplagat’s passing has left the athletic community in shock, with fellow athletes and officials expressing their condolences and paying tribute to his contributions to Ugandan athletics.
Olympic and World Marathon Champion Stephen Kiprotich described Kiplagat as a role model for many emerging athletes in Uganda, including Jacob Araptany, Peruth Chemutai, and Joshua Cheptegei. Kiprotich emphasized the need for athletes to prioritize their security in the wake of this unfortunate incident.
Three-time world champion in the 10,000 meters, Joshua Cheptegei, shared his memories of Kiplagat, describing him as generous, loving, and an example of success for many athletes. Cheptegei recalled Kiplagat’s encouragement and motivation during their training together in Kenya in 2014, highlighting his positive influence on the younger generation of athletes.
Commonwealth double gold medalist in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters, Moses Kipsiro, praised Kiplagat’s irreplaceable role in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and emphasized his commitment to team spirit while representing Uganda at international athletics events.
Stella Chesang, Uganda’s National record marathon holder, remembered Kiplagat for his generosity and support to fellow athletes, providing training kits, shoes, tracksuits, and competition kits. Isaac Kiplagat, the 2014 World Mountain Champion, described the deceased as an athletics patriot who loved running with passion.
The President of Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF), Dominic Toucher, acknowledged Benjamin Kiplagat’s loyalty and contributions to middle and long-distance running. Kiplagat’s career spanned several international championships, where he consistently set and broke national records in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.