Tragic Death of Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum in Kenyan Road Accident

Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the world record holder for the men’s marathon, tragically lost his life in a road accident in his home country. The 24-year-old athlete, who emerged as a strong contender against compatriot Eliud Kipchoge, died alongside his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, in a car accident near Eldoret.

Kiptum gained prominence in 2023 when he broke Kipchoge’s world record in Chicago, completing the 26.1 miles in an impressive two hours and 35 seconds. Last week, his team announced plans for him to attempt running the marathon distance in under two hours at the Rotterdam marathon, a feat never achieved in open competition.

Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga, mourned the loss of “a true hero” and “a remarkable individual” who had become an icon in Kenyan athletics.

Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, paid tribute to Kiptum, describing him as “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy” and expressing deep sadness at his passing.

Kiptum’s ascent to fame was swift, having run his first full marathon in 2022. Four years earlier, he entered his first major competition wearing borrowed shoes due to financial constraints. Breaking away from the traditional path, Kiptum and a new generation of Kenyan athletes started their careers on the road, deviating from the customary transition from track events to longer distances. Kiptum had explained in a previous interview with the BBC that his choice was influenced by a lack of resources, stating, “I had no money to travel to track sessions.”

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