Nairobi — The death of world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum has sent shockwaves through Kenya and around the world.
At just 24 years old, his untimely passing has elicited a profound sense of grief globally, cutting short a promising marathon career that was only beginning to bloom.
Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana died on the spot when their vehicle was involved in an accident around 11 pm on Sunday night in Elgeyo Marakwet.
A third occupant of their ill-fated Toyota Premier vehicle was hospitalized.
His passing comes less than a week after World Athletics officially recognized his world record achievement from the Chicago Marathon last October, where he made history by becoming the first man to complete a marathon in under two hours and a minute.
Kenya’s president William Ruto described him as “arguably one of the world’s finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record.”
“He was only 24 yet, as a hero, triumphed in Valencia, Chicago, London and in other top competitions. His mental strength and discipline were unmatched. Kiptum was our future. An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark in the globe,” he wrote on X.
World Athletics President Seb Coe in a statement shared on the social platform X extended the organisation’s “deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the entire Kenyan nation. Kelvin was an extraordinary athlete leaving behind an extraordinary legacy. He will be greatly missed.”
Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, expressed profound shock upon learning of the tragic loss of the promising athlete.
“Kelvin Kiptum left an indelible mark not only through his remarkable achievements but also through his mentorship and leadership, inspiring aspiring athletes to strive for excellence. His legacy is a testament to passion and dedication,” remarked Mudavadi.
Olympic champion and 800m World Record holder David Rudisha also conveyed his heartfelt condolences following Kiptum’s untimely demise.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana’s passing. My condolences to their families, friends, the athletics fraternity, and the nation of Kenya. This is an immense loss,” expressed Rudisha.
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