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Tragic accident claims marathon World Record holder Kelvin Kiptum

Posted : 12 February 2024

In a tragic incident that has sent shockwaves through the sports world, Kelvin Kiptum, the 24-year-old world record holder in the marathon, succumbed to a fatal car accident on Sunday night, along with his coach Jarvis Khakizimana.


The devastating news comes just a week after the International Athletics Union officially recognized Kiptum's groundbreaking record. Reports from Kenya suggest that the accident was self-inflicted, with Kiptum losing control of the car on the way to Eldoret, a prime training ground for marathon runners and Kiptum's hometown.


The car crashed into a tree, landing in a ditch 60 meters away, leading to the immediate death of both Kiptum and his coach. Another woman in the vehicle sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.


Kiptum's family, along with fellow Kenyan runners, gathered at the hospital, receiving the heartbreaking confirmation of the tragic event. Kiptum, who had a remarkable rise in the sport, won the Eldoret Half Marathon in 2018 and achieved international recognition with a sixth-place finish at the 2020 Valencia Half Marathon at the age of 21.


Despite starting his marathon career later than many, Kiptum quickly became a sensation. In his debut marathon, he clocked an astonishing time of 2:01:53, just 44 seconds shy of the then-world record held by Eliud Kipchoge, setting a new benchmark for a debut marathon.


His most remarkable feat came last October at the Chicago Marathon, where he shattered expectations with a time of 2:00:35, pushing the boundaries of what was once considered impossible.


Known for his intense training regimen of covering 350km a week consistently, Kiptum had ambitious plans, aiming to break the two-hour barrier at the upcoming Rotterdam Marathon in April, gearing up for the Paris Olympics where he was anticipated to be a gold medal favorite.


The chairman of the World Athletics Federation, Sebastian Coe, expressed deep sorrow, stating, "An amazing athlete left an incredible legacy, and we will miss him very much." Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga paid tribute to Kiptum as a true hero and an icon in Kenyan athletics, mourning the loss of an extraordinary individual.


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