In a tragic turn of events, Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world record holder from Kenya, passed away in a car accident on Sunday. The news was announced by World Athletics, the international sports governing organization. Kiptum was only 24 years old at the time of his death.
According to local media reports, Kiptum was driving a car near his childhood village of Chepsamo in western Kenya when he lost control and veered off the road. His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also sustained injuries in the accident. A third passenger in the vehicle suffered serious injuries as well.
Kiptum rose to fame in October when he won the Chicago marathon in a time of 2 hours and 35 seconds, becoming the first man to run an official race under 2 hours and 1 minutes. Despite never having run a marathon before that point, his unexpected victory made headlines around the world and cemented his place as a Kenyan Athletics icon.
The sudden deaths of Kiptum and his coach have had a profound impact on Kenya’s running community. Prominent figures like David Rudisha and Raila Odinga have expressed their shock and sadness at the loss of such a talented athlete. Kiptum had been looking forward to competing in upcoming races like the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon and representing Kenya in the Paris Olympics this summer.
Kiptum’s legacy will be remembered with great respect and admiration by those who knew him personally and by fans around the world who were inspired by his achievements on and off the track.