In October of last year, in Chicago, Kelvin Kipchoge shattered Eliud Kipchoge’s world record.
Kenyan 24-year-old and current men’s marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum lost his life in a car crash while returning home.
On Sunday, he and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana of Rwanda, were killed in a car crash in western Kenya.
In 2023, Kiptum gained notoriety as a competitor to legendary marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, a fellow Kenyan.
With a time of 2 hours and 35 seconds in Chicago last October, Kiptum broke Kipchoge’s record for the 26.2 miles (42km).
They were both selected to compete in the Paris Olympics later this year in the marathon for Kenya.
Kipchoge expressed his sympathies to the family of the record-breaker, calling him a budding talent with “a whole life” to accomplish “incredible greatness” on X.
Kenyan President William Ruto also paid tribute, praising Kiptum as a remarkable athlete who made an impression on the globe.
• Kiptum, the great-to-be marathon runner
• According to Farah, Kiptum would have had a “terrific” career.
Around 20:00 GMT on Sunday, local time, a car collision occurred.
The mishap was described by the police as following: “lost control [of the vehicle] and veered off-road entering into a ditch on his left side.” Kiptum was the driver during the incident.
“He drove in the ditch for about 60 metres before hitting a big tree,” stated the police.
At the scene of the accident, Kiptum and Hakizimana passed away. A third individual, a young woman, was sent to the hospital after suffering severe injuries.
A local police station will be inspecting the vehicle that Kiptum was operating.
It has never been done in open competition, but Kiptum’s team only stated last week that he would try to complete the marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April.
The father of two rose to stardom quickly; he didn’t even run a full marathon until 2022.
Before establishing a new track record of 2:01:25 at the London Marathon in April 2023, he made an immediate impression when he won the Valencia Marathon in what was then the fourth-fastest time on record (2:01:53).
Six months down the road, in his third and last marathon, Kiptum shaved 34 seconds off the previous record in Chicago.
Before venturing out on his own for the rest of the race, he had perfected a unique strategy that involved running with the group for 30 kilometers.
Because he could not afford to buy his own shoes, Kiptum ran in borrowed ones in 2018 when he competed in his first major race.
He was part of a new wave of Kenyan athletes who, rather than following the old pattern of starting on the track and then moving on to longer distances, started out on the road.
Last year, Kiptum explained his unconventional decision to the BBC by saying that he was severely underfunded.
His explanation was that he couldn’t afford to travel to track workouts.
A large crowd has formed outside the Eldoret hospital, which is in the Rift Valley, where his remains were transferred.
“I don’t know what to say but God, if we have done wrong, God forgive us because Kiptum was headed for great heights,” a man commented.
We extend our deepest condolences to the people of Kenya and, more importantly, to the loved ones of the fallen hero. “I am really sorry,” someone else told a local news station.
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba expressed his shock and horror at the news of his death on X, writing: “Devastatingly sickening!!” A precious jewel has been lost by Kenya. Stuck for expression.
Former Kenyan prime minister and opposition leader Raila Odinga lamented the loss of “a remarkable individual… and Kenyan athletics icon” and called the deceased “a true hero” to the people of Kenya.
President of World Athletics Sebastian Coe praised Kiptum, calling him “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy.”.
Hakizimana, Kiptum’s coach, is 36 years old and a former runner from Rwanda. He lent Kiptum a hand for months last year as they both set their sights on the record.
The world record holder and their coach-athlete relationship started in 2018, but they met when he was considerably younger.
Last year, Hakizimana recalled, “I knew him when he was a little boy, herding livestock barefooted.” “It was in 2009, I was training near his father’s farm, he’d come kicking at my heels and I would chase him away.”For what he has accomplished, I am now eternally thankful to him.