Kenya: Marathon world record holder Kiptum dies in car accident

DWorld marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum died aged 24 late Sunday in his home country, family members and police confirmed, according to Kenyan media reports. The death was also reported by the AP news agency, citing an athlete friend.

Kiptum was driving the car when it ran off the road at about 11pm local time in Kaptaget, in Kenya’s southwestern highlands – a region where many Kenyan long-distance runners train.

Coach Garwe Hakizimana also died.

Also in the car were Kiptum’s trainer Garwise Hakizimana, originally from Rwanda, and his companion. Hakizimana also died in the accident and a woman was seriously injured, police said. No other vehicles were involved in the accident. Initial investigations indicate Kiptum lost control, went off the road and crashed into a tree before the car ended up in a ditch 60 meters away, the Daily Nation newspaper reported, citing police spokesman Peter Mulinge.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said he was “shocked and deeply saddened”. “An incredible athlete leaves an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly,” the Brit (67), formerly X, tweeted.

Kiptum won the Chicago Marathon a good four months ago, setting a world record time of 2:00:35 hours. He improved Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record by 34 seconds and became the first person to run an official marathon in under 2:01:00. Kiptum was running only his third marathon. According to the world association, he started running at age 13.

In Valencia in December 2022, Kiptum set an unofficial debut world record of 2:01:53 hours, then sensationally won the London Marathon in 2:01:25 hours. The miracle runner immediately announced that he wanted to challenge the world record. He achieved this on October 8 in Chicago.

Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine

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