Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has reportedly died in a traffic accident, aged 24.
Reports state Kiptum was behind the wheel when the incident occurred at 11pm on Eldoret-Kaptagat road – approximately 300km from Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Gervais Hakizimana, Kiptum’s coach, also died at the scene but a passenger Sharon Kosgey survived and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Kiptum eclipsed the marathon world record in 2023 when he ran 2:00:35 in the Chicago Marathon, shading Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record of 2:01:09.
Kenyan prime minister Rale Odinga posted one of the first tributes to Kiptum via his X account.
“Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon,” Odinga wrote on X.
“Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight.
“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.”
Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/1Dmgyyhsk4
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) February 11, 2024
Along with breaking the marathon world record with his win in Chicago, Kiptum also finished first in the London Marathon in 2023.
Kiptum has run three of the fastest seven marathons in history and also run the fastest-ever time on marathon debut in 2022 with the fourth-quickest time ever.
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