The men’s marathon world record holder, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, 24, has d+ed in a road acc#d£nt in his home country.
He was k#lled alongside his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, in a car on a road in western Kenya on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 as a rival to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge – one of the greatest marathon runners.
Kiptum bettered Kipchoge’s record, clocking the 26.2 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds in Chicago last October.
The two athletes had been named in Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the Paris Olympics later this year.
Kipchoge said on X that the man who broke his record was a rising star who had “a whole life” ahead of him to achieve “incredible greatness”, offering condolences to his family.
Also paying tribute, Kenya’s President William Ruto described Kiptum as an extraordinary sportsman who had left a mark on the world.
The road acc#d£nt happened at about 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday.
Giving details of the cr+sh, police said Kiptum was driving and had “lost control [of the vehicle] and veered off-road entering into a ditch on his left side”.
He drove in the ditch for about 60 metres before h+tying a big tree,” a police statement said.
Kiptum and Hakizimana d+ed at the site of a collision. A third person – a young woman – was seriously inj¥red and taken to hospital for treatment.
Just last week, Kiptum’s team announced that he would attempt to run the marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April – a feat that has never been achieved in open competition.
The rise to fame for the father-of-two had been rapid – he only competed in his first full marathon in 2022.
He made an instant impact as he ran the then-fourth fastest time on record (2:01:53) to win the Valencia Marathon before setting a course record of 2:01:25 at the London Marathon in April 2023.
Six months later, in just his third marathon, Kiptum took 34 seconds off the world record time in Chicago in his final race.