Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum: Marathon world record holder dies in road accident

Kelvin Kiptum

The picture originates from Getty Images.

Last October in Chicago, Kelvin Kiptum accomplished a major feat by surpassing Eliud Kipchoge's world record.

Kelvin Kiptum - Figure 1
Photo BBC News

BBC Sport Africa in Nairobi reported that... Rewritten: The news outlet BBC Sport Africa, located in Nairobi, reported that...

Kelvin Kiptum, a 24-year-old man from Kenya who held the world record for men's marathon, passed away due to a tragic road accident that occurred in his homeland.

On Sunday, he and his coach from Rwanda, Gervais Hakizimana, tragically lost their lives in a car accident on a western Kenyan road.

In 2023, Kiptum emerged as a formidable competitor to Eliud Kipchoge, a highly acclaimed marathon runner from their home country. This marked a significant achievement for Kiptum.

Last October, Kiptum surpassed Kipchoge's feat by completing the full marathon of 26.1 miles (42km) in just two hours and 35 seconds while in Chicago.

The pair of sportsmen were selected as part of Kenya's tentative marathon squad for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Honoring Kiptum, the Sports Minister of Kenya, Ababu Namwamba expressed his grief on X by saying, "It is so heartbreaking! Kenya has lost a remarkable individual. I am at a loss for words."

Raila Odinga, the former prime minister and leader of the opposition in Kenya, expressed grief over the loss of a great hero. He described the deceased as an extraordinary individual and a symbol of excellence in Kenyan athletics.

According to the AFP news agency, the police reported that the car crash took place around 11:00 pm in the local time zone (8:00 pm Greenwich Mean Time) on Sunday.

Providing additional information about the accident, authorities stated that Kiptum was operating the car, and it "failed to maintain control and flipped over, resulting in the instantaneous death of the two individuals."

An individual speaking on behalf of the situation, as reported by AFP, stated that the third traveler, specifically a woman, sustained injuries and was immediately taken to a medical facility.

Last week, his crew made public that he will endeavor to finish the Rotterdam marathon in less than two hours, which has never happened before in a fair contest.

The father of two quickly became famous after running his first full marathon in 2022.

Four years before competing in a significant event, he participated in it for the first time. During that time, he had to wear shoes given by someone else since he didn't have the means to purchase a brand-new pair.

He was part of a fresh group of Kenyan sportspeople who kicked off their sporting journeys with road running. This was a deviation from the previous custom of athletes starting on the track and then transitioning to longer distances.

In the previous year, Kiptum informed the BBC that his decision was based solely on the fact that he didn't have enough resources.

He said that he had insufficient funds to go to the racing practices.

The retired Rwandan runner, Hakizimana, who is 36 years old, trained Kiptum for several months to aim for the world record in the previous year.

The coach and athlete became acquainted in 2018 but previously crossed paths when the record holder was quite young.

Hakizimana remembered seeing him as a young child who tended to animals without any footwear. This happened back in 2009 when Hakizimana was practicing near the property of the boy's father. The kid would sometimes try to bother Hakizimana by playing with his feet, but he would shoo him off.

At present, I express my thanks toward him for his progress.

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