Kelvin Kiptum, world marathon record holder, dies

The 24-year-old Kenyan lost his life in a traffic accident in his country

The Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum, 24, world marathon record holder, lost his life this Sunday in a traffic accident along with his coach, the Rwandan Gervais Hakizimana.

According to the African country’s media ‘The Standard’ and ‘Nation’, citing sources from the family and the police officers who intervened in the accident, Kiptum died along with his coach and a woman when they were traveling by car on the road that connects Eldoret with Kaptagat (Kenya).

The tragic news leaves the world of athletics without one of its greatest current athletes. Kiptum established a new marathon world record last year in Chicago, where he became the first man in history to go under 2:01 by stopping the clock in the American city in two hours and 35 seconds.

The Kenyan, who had won the two marathons held previously, Valencia 2022 (2:01:53) and London 2023 (2:01:25), established himself in the American event, reducing the record he had established by 34 seconds his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022, with a future that promised to be under two hours.

The International Athletics Federation, World Athletics, was quick to mourn the loss of an “incredible athlete” who left “an incredible legacy.” “We are deeply saddened to learn of Kelvin Kiptum’s devastating loss,” said president Sebastian Coe.

Coe, who sent his condolences to family and friends, confessed that this week he had been in Chicago ratifying his historic world record. Kiptum, who was born in Chepsamo, 30 kilometers from Eldoret, was one of the greatest recent talents in athletics.

The Kenyan started running at the age of 13 and made his international debut in 2019, finishing fifth in the Lisbon half marathon, later improving his mark in 2020 in Valencia. Kiptum then moved on to the marathon, winning every time he attacked the 42.195 kilometers to his world record in Chicago.

The record holder’s next challenge was scheduled for the Rotterdam marathon in April, where he had set the goal of breaking under two hours. A mark that Eliud Kipchoge did manage to break in Vienna in 2019, although with a whole setup around her that did not give official status to her record (1:59:40).

By Editor

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