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Home Breaking World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum, 24, Tragically Killed in Car Crash in Kenya

World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum, 24, Tragically Killed in Car Crash in Kenya

Marathon enthusiasts and the sporting world at large are in mourning following the tragic death of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum at the young age of 24. Kiptum, who made history in October with his remarkable victory at the Chicago Marathon, died in a car crash in his native Kenya. The accident also claimed the life of his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana.

The incident occurred near Kaptagat, an area in the southwest of Kenya renowned as a training base for distance runners. Kiptum’s stellar career was highlighted by his groundbreaking performance in Chicago, where he shattered Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 34 seconds, clocking an astounding time of 2:00.35. Despite this remarkable achievement, his record was only officially ratified by World Athletics last Tuesday.

Seb Coe, president of World Athletics, led the outpouring of tributes to Kiptum, describing him as “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy.” Coe expressed shock and deep sadness at the news, extending condolences to the families, friends, teammates, and the Kenyan nation.

Kiptum’s prowess wasn’t limited to his Chicago triumph; he also claimed victory in his first London Marathon last April, setting a course record of 2:01.25, the second-fastest marathon time ever at the time. His marathon debut in Valencia in December 2022 was equally impressive, foreshadowing the extraordinary talent he possessed.

The young athlete’s untimely death comes as a devastating blow to Kenya’s athletics community and the wider sporting world. With his exceptional abilities, Kiptum was considered a favourite for the gold medal at the upcoming Olympics in Paris, where he was anticipated to face off against his teammate and two-time defending champion, Eliud Kipchoge.

The news of Kiptum’s passing prompted an outpouring of grief from various quarters. Raila Odinga, Kenya’s former prime minister, described Kiptum as a “remarkable individual” and a “Kenyan athletics icon.” Kenya’s minister for sports, Ababu Namwamba, expressed profound sadness, describing Kiptum’s loss as a blow to the nation.

The sudden demise of Kelvin Kiptum has left a void in the world of marathon running, robbing the sport of a bright young talent poised for greatness. As the athletics community mourns his loss, Kiptum’s legacy as a record-breaker and a symbol of Kenyan athletic excellence will endure.

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