Marathon world record holder, Kenyan runner Kelvin Kiptum was killed in a traffic accident on Sunday, Kenyan authorities announced.
Along with 24-year-old Kiptum, his coach also died Gervais Hakimana. The accident happened on the road near the city of Eldoret in the west of the country.
“Terrible, disgusting! Kenya has lost a special gem. I have no words,” Kenya’s sports minister announced Ababu Namwamba.
Last October, Kiptum set a world record at the Chicago Marathon by running 42 kilometers and 195 meters in 2:00:35 hours, breaking the previous record of another Kenyan by 34 seconds. Eliuda Kipchogea which is set in Berlin in 2022.
Only a week before his death, the athletic authorities officially ratified his record.
‘An incredible athlete who left an incredible legacy’
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana. On behalf of the entire IAAF, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan people,” IAAF President Sebastian Coe wrote on Xu, adding :
“It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his outstanding marathon world record, that I was able to officially confirm his historic time. An incredible athlete who has left an incredible legacy, he will be sorely missed.”
The Kenyan president also spoke William Ruto of Samoa.
“Kelvin Kiptum was a star. Probably one of the best athletes in the world who broke barriers to achieve a marathon record. He was only 24 years old, like a hero, he triumphed in Valencia, Chicago, London and other top competitions. His mental strength and discipline were second to none. Kiptum was our future. An exceptional athlete left an extraordinary mark on the world. Our thoughts are with the family and the sports fraternity. Rest in peace.”