Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum: Marathon world record holder dies in road accident


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Kenya’s 24-year-old Kelvin Kiptum, the current world record holder in the men’s marathon, passed away in a car accident in his native nation, a Kenyan athletics official confirmed to the BBC.

He was killed in an automobile on a road close to Eldoret, Rwanda, along with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

In 2023, Kiptum surfaced as an adversary of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.

In October of last year, he ran the 26.1 miles in Chicago, breaking Kipchoge’s world record in two hours and 35 seconds.

His squad just revealed last week that he would try to run the course in under two hours at the Rotterdam marathon, which has never been accomplished in a public competition.

Former prime minister and leader of the Kenyan opposition, Raila Odinga, said on X that the nation was mourning “a remarkable individual… and Kenyan athletics icon” and that it had lost “a true hero.”

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe paid tribute to the young man, calling him “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly.”

The rise to fame for the father-of-two had been rapid – he only ran his first full marathon in 2022.

Four years prior, he had participated in his first significant competition while wearing borrowed shoes because he could not afford his own.

He was one of a new generation of Kenyan athletes who started their careers on the road, departing from the custom of athletes initially competing on the track before moving on to longer distances.

Last year, Kiptum told the BBC that his unconventional decision was merely the result of a lack of funding.

He clarified, “I had no money to travel to track sessions.”

Source | BBC News

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