World Marathon Record Holder, Kelvin Kiptum, Passes Away

World Marathon Record Holder, Kelvin Kiptum, Passes Away

On a tragic note, a 24-year-old Kenyan athlete, tragically lost his life in a deadly traffic accident that occurred in his home country. The incident has left the global athletic community in shock and mourning.

The deceased, Kelvin Kiptum, was a renowned Kenyan athlete, and at the young age of 24, he was already a world marathon record holder. The unfortunate incident occurred this Sunday and claimed the lives of Kiptum, his coach Gervais Hakizimana from Rwanda, and a yet-to-be-identified woman. The traffic accident occurred while they were traveling by car on a road connecting Eldoret and Kaptagat in Kenya.

Reports from the African Country’s media outlets, ‘The Standard’ and ‘Nation’, cite statements from family members and the police officers who arrived at the scene of the accident. It was confirmed that Kiptum, his coach, and a woman lost their lives in the accident.

The news of Kiptum’s death has sent shockwaves across the world of athletics, leaving the community bereft of one of its most promising current athletes. Kiptum set a new marathon world record just last year in Chicago, where he etched his name in the annals of history by becoming the first man to ever run a marathon in under 2:01. He finished the race in two hours and 35 seconds.

The Kenyan athlete had an impressive record, having won two marathons prior to this, the Valencia 2022 with a time of 2:01:53 and the London 2023 where he finished in 2:01:25. He further cemented his legacy in the American event, shaving off 34 seconds from the record previously held by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge, which was set in Berlin in 2022. Kiptum’s future seemed bright with predictions of him breaking the two-hour mark.

The International Athletics Federation, World Athletics, expressed their sorrow at the loss of an “incredible athlete” who had left “an incredible legacy.” The president, Sebastian Coe, stated that they were “deeply saddened to learn of Kelvin Kiptum’s devastating loss.”

Coe, who extended his condolences to the family and friends, revealed that he had been in Chicago just this week to ratify Kiptum’s historic world record. Kiptum, a native of Chepsamo, a town located 30 kilometers from Eldoret, was one of the most promising talents in athletics in recent times.

Kiptum’s athletic journey started at the tender age of 13. He made his international debut in 2019, finishing fifth in the Lisbon half marathon, and later improved his record in 2020 in Valencia. He then transitioned to the marathon, emerging victorious every time he tackled the 42.195-kilometer distance, culminating in his world record in Chicago.

Before his untimely demise, Kiptum’s next challenge was the Rotterdam marathon scheduled for April. He had set an ambitious goal of breaking the two-hour mark. A feat that Eliud Kipchoge did manage to achieve in Vienna in 2019, albeit with a setup that did not lend official status to his record of 1:59:40.

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