The world record holder in the marathon, 24-year-old Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum, has died in a single-vehicle accident in western Kenya.
Kelvin Kiptum set the world record, 2.00.35, in the Chicago Marathon last October. It was previously on 2.01.09, and was set by the compatriot Eliud Kipchoge 2022.
“A fantastic athlete who leaves an incredible legacy. We will miss him very much,” writes the president of the International Athletics Federation Sebastian Coe on X, formerly Twitter.
Coe writes that as recently as last week he was with and gave the association’s official approval to Kiptum’s world record race in Chicago.
“Probably one of the world’s best athletes who broke barriers to secure a marathon record,” writes Kenya’s president William Ruto on X.
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Despite his young age, Kiptum had already hinted at being a superstar in the making. Two years ago he did his first major race, Valencia, finishing with the best time ever for a debutant. Of the seven fastest marathon times, Kiptum has accounted for three.
Kenya’s two-time Olympic 800m champion, David Rudishawrites on X he is shocked and saddened by the news of Kiptum’s death.
“A great loss,” writes Rudisha.
Also Kiptum’s coach Gervais Hakizimana was killed and a female passenger was seriously injured.
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