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Marathon World record-holder Kelvin Kiptum dies in devastating car crash

24-year-old marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum met a tragic end alongside his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, in a fatal car crash in Kenya. The accident occurred late Sunday near Kaptagat in western Kenya, an area renowned as a training base for elite distance runners.

Kiptum, a rising star in long-distance running and a top contender for Olympic gold in Paris, was driving the vehicle when it veered off the road, plunged into a ditch, and collided with a tree. The two athletes lost their lives on the scene, leaving the nation of Kenya mourning the untimely loss of a promising talent.

Kiptum’s death resonated deeply within the sporting community and the nation at large as Kenya grapples with yet another tragic incident involving one of its revered athletes. President William Ruto expressed his condolences, lamenting the loss of a young athlete representing the country’s future.

The crash also claimed the life of Hakizimana, the Rwandan coach who played a significant role in shaping Kiptum’s career. A third person, a 24-year-old woman, sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Kelvin Kiptum, who broke the marathon world record at the 2023 Chicago Marathon with a remarkable time of 2:00:35, was considered a once-in-a-generation talent. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who ratified Kiptum’s historic record just last week, expressed shock and deep sadness at the news, emphasizing the legacy the young athlete leaves behind.

An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly,” Coe tweeted. Kiptum’s achievements included winning the London Marathon and setting a course record in April 2023, just months after his historic performance in Chicago. His exceptional talent and dedication to the sport had positioned him as a favorite for the upcoming Olympics in Paris.

Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning two-time Olympic champion and Kiptum’s expected competitor in Paris conveyed his condolences, acknowledging the tragic loss of a fellow athlete with a promising future.

The news has prompted a wave of tributes from the global athletic community, with figures like David Rudisha and Moses Tanui expressing sorrow over Kiptum’s passing. The tragedy also sheds light on the vulnerability of Kenya’s sports stars, as Kiptum becomes the latest in a series of athletes to meet untimely ends, underscoring the need for increased safety measures and awareness.

As Kenya mourns the loss of Kelvin Kiptum, his family, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity grapple with the profound sadness of bidding farewell to a remarkable individual who had barely begun to realize his incredible potential.


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