Kenyan marathon world record-holder Kiptum killed in car crash

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Tributes flowed on Monday for Kenyan working sensation Kelvin Kiptum after the marathon world record-holder was killed in a automotive crash on the age of 24 in his residence nation.

The favorite for the Paris 2024 Summer time Olympics was driving from Kaptagat to Eldoret in western Kenya round 11 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday when his automotive rolled.

Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana have been killed whereas a girl passenger was injured, mentioned Peter Mulinge, police commander for Elgeyo Marakwet County the place the accident occurred.

“The automotive had three occupants, two died on the spot, whereas one was taken to hospital. The 2 are Kiptum and his coach,” he mentioned.

“It’s Kiptum who was driving heading to Eldoret and the automobile misplaced management and rolled, killing the 2 on the spot,” he advised reporters.

Kiptum exploded onto the marathon scene when he ran a world document 2:00:35 in Chicago in October, taking 34 seconds off fellow Kenyan star Eliud Kipchoge’s earlier document.

He was simply 23 years outdated on the time, and competing in solely his third marathon.

Kiptum additionally received his different two efforts — his debut in Valencia in 2022 and a follow-up in London the next 12 months.

“Arguably one of many world’s most interesting sportsmen who broke limitations to safe a marathon document,” Kenyan President William Ruto mentioned on X, describing Kiptum as “our future” and “a rare sportsman”.

‘Unimaginable athlete’

From herding goats only a decade in the past, Kiptum had introduced he would try in April to turn into the primary man to run an official marathon underneath the mythic two-hour mark.

World Athletics mentioned his debut was the quickest in historical past and mourned the lack of “probably the most thrilling new prospects to emerge in street working lately”.

“We’re shocked and deeply saddened to be taught of the devastating lack of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe mentioned in an announcement.

“On behalf of all World Athletics, we ship our deepest condolences to their households, mates, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”

Coe mentioned solely final week he had been in Chicago to formally ratify Kiptum’s historic time.

“An unbelievable athlete leaving an unbelievable legacy, we’ll miss him dearly.”

Kiptum and compatriot Kipchoge have been anticipated to run collectively for the primary time this summer time on the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“With the Olympics simply days away, we mourn the premature departure of a promising expertise,” President of Kenya’s Nationwide Olympic Committee Paul Tergat mentioned in an announcement on X.

“Kelvin’s current ratified document in Chicago showcased his potential for a shiny future, representing the following era of Olympic greatness.”

Kenyan two-time Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha described his demise as a “large loss”.

Humble beginnings

Kiptum hailed from Chepkorio, a village within the Rift Valley that’s the heartland of Kenyan distance working, and the place in the end his demise occurred.

Ten years in the past, barely a teen, he herded goats and sheep after which started following Hakizimana, who’s from Rwanda, and different runners as they educated within the legendary high-altitude area.

By 2019, Kiptum ran two half-marathons in two weeks, going 60:48 in Copenhagen and 59:53 in Belfort, France. He started coaching with Hakizimana, who stayed in Kenya when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Kiptum’s demise is the newest in a saga of tragedies to hit Kenya’s younger athletics hopefuls.

In 2011, Kenyan marathon nice Samuel Wanjiru died on the similar age after capturing the Olympic title in 2008 on the Beijing Olympics.

In line with a pathologist, Wanjiru was killed from being hit on the top with a blunt object.

In 2021, long-distance working star Agnes Tirop was discovered stabbed to demise on the age of 25 at her home in Iten, close to Eldoret.

Her husband Ibrahim Rotich went on trial for her homicide in November final 12 months. He has denied the cost and was freed on bail simply earlier than the trial opened.

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