Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya, the world record holder for marathons, perishes in a car accident

 

Kenya’s 24-year-old Kelvin Kiptum, the current world record holder in the men’s marathon, passed away in a car accident there. On Sunday, he and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana of Rwanda, were killed in an automobile accident on a route in western Kenya. Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 as a challenger to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge – one of the finest marathon runners. Kiptum surpassed Kipchoge’s record in October of last year in Chicago, finishing the 26.1 miles (42 km) in two hours and 35 seconds. Kenya’s tentative marathon squad for the Olympics in Paris later this year included the two athletes.

 

Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba paid homage to Kiptum by writing on X: “Absurdly disgusting! Kenya has lost a unique jewel. Speechless.” The former prime minister and leader of the Kenyan opposition, Raila Odinga, said that the nation was mourning “a remarkable individual… and Kenyan athletics icon” and that it had lost “a true hero”. Kiptum was described as “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly” by World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. According to authorities, the car collision occurred on Sunday at roughly 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT), as reported by the AFP news agency.

 

In releasing additional information on the collision, the police stated that Kiptum was the driver and that the car “lost control and rolled, killing the two on the spot”. The third passenger, a woman, was hurt, and a spokesperson who was cited by AFP said that she had been “rushed to hospital.” His squad just revealed last week that he would try to run the course in under two hours in the Rotterdam marathon, which has never been accomplished in a public competition. The father of two rose to stardom quite quickly—he didn’t even complete a full marathon until 2022.

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