June 20, 2024

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Kenyan Marathon World Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum Dies in Road Accident

Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, 24, the men’s marathon world record holder, died in a road accident in his home country.

He and his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, were killed in a car accident on a road in western Kenya on Sunday.

Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 as a competitor to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge, one of the greatest marathon runners.

Kiptum surpassed Kipchoge’s record in Chicago last October, covering 26.1 miles (42 kilometers) in two hours and 35 seconds.

The two athletes were named to Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the Paris Olympics later this year.

Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba paid tribute to Kiptum, writing on X, “Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. “At a loss for words.”

Raila Odinga, Kenya’s opposition leader and former prime minister, said the country had lost “a true hero” and was mourning “a remarkable individual… and Kenyan athletics icon”.

President of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe described Kiptum as “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy; we will miss him dearly.”

According to police, the accident occurred around 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday. Kiptum was the driver, and the vehicle “lost control and rolled, killing the two on the spot”.

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