The passing of former Boston Marathon champion Joseph Chebet on Friday sent the athletic community into sadness.
The 1999 Boston and New York Marathon champion Joseph passed away on Friday at 3AM after a severe illness. In 1999, he won in Boston with a time of 2:09.52, and in New York, he won with a time of 2:09.14.
Joseph Chebet Cause of Death
The former athlete was hospitalized for three days at the Mediheal Hospital in Eldoret due to a short illness, Uasin Gishu County, according to his brother, Ben Chebet, before he passed away.
He finished second once more at the New York Marathon in 1998, a race won by John Kagwe, after losing by three seconds to his fellow countryman Moses Tanui in the Boston Marathon. Joseph finished first in 2:14.49 at the 2003 Vienna Marathon.
A tweet from Josh Cox in tribute to Joseph Chebet:
This one hurts. I signed with Fila in 2000 and spent a month training over in Kenya that winter. Joseph Chebet and Moses Tanui were the two guys that always looked out for me.
— Josh Cox (@JoshCox) July 11, 2023
After retiring, Joseph started farming near his home in Kapyego, Elgeyo Marakwet County, where he continued to work until his passing on Friday at the age of 53. Chebet was one of the dedicated athletes that made Kenya famous in the road races in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei.
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“One of our icons is gone. He was among the legends who made our nation famous. Tuwei issued a statement in which he expressed his sympathies to the victim’s family, friends, coworkers, and the sports fraternity.
Moses Tanui, a two-time Boston Marathon champion, recalls their contest in 1998 with fondness and calls Joseph a “real fighter.”
Chebet was a talented athlete who would compete all the way to the end. In 1998, I recall running with him to the finish line of the Boston Marathon, where I outran him by three seconds. I want to express my sympathies to the family and friends during this trying time and express how sad I am that we lost him. Losing a loved one is difficult, Tanui added.
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