NAIROBI, Kenya — Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who was set to be a famous person of long-distance operating, was killed alongside along with his coach in a automotive crash in Kenya late Sunday.
Kiptum was 24 and had the world document he set final yr on the Chicago Marathon ratified by worldwide observe federation World Athletics simply final week.
He was probably the most thrilling prospects to emerge in highway operating in years and was a transparent contender for gold within the marathon on the Paris Olympics in August.
Kiptum, who was Kenyan, and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana had been killed within the crash at round 11 p.m. One other Kenyan athlete, Milcah Chemos, confirmed their deaths to The Related Press. She was on the hospital mortuary the place the our bodies had been taken and had seen Kiptum’s physique, she stated.
She struggled to talk whereas breaking down in tears.
“I’ve no phrases to clarify the lack of Kelvin,” she stated.
The crash occurred on a highway between the cities of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, Chemos stated, within the coronary heart of the high-altitude area that’s famend as a coaching base for high distance runners from Kenya and the world over. Kiptum was born and raised within the space.
Chemos stated she went to the hospital with different athletes and members of Kiptum’s household after listening to the information. The relations, which included Kiptum’s father, had been there to establish his physique.
Denis Muga, the realm police chief for Kaptagat, stated Kiptum was driving and it was the one automotive concerned within the crash.
Kenneth Kimaiyo, a buddy of Kiptum, stated he arrived on the crash scene quickly after it occurred and Kiptum had been thrown out of the automotive. It appeared the automotive had veered off the highway at excessive pace and collided with a tree earlier than rolling, Kimaiyo stated.
A 3rd particular person, a lady, was additionally within the automotive and had been taken to the hospital with severe accidents, he stated.
Photographs from the scene confirmed the silver automotive with a badly mangled roof and one of many doorways flung open.
The Kenyan observe federation stated it was saddened to announce the deaths of Kiptum and Hakizimana.
Kiptum was the primary man to run the marathon in underneath 2 hours, 1 minute in an official race when he set the world document of two:00.35 in Chicago in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan and marathon nice Eliud Kipchoge. He set the document in simply his third top-level marathon.
Kiptum and Kipchoge had been anticipated to supply an attractive all-Kenyan battle for marathon gold in Paris. Kiptum was as a consequence of begin his season on the Rotterdam Marathon in April, which might have been his first occasion since breaking the world document.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe was one of many first to supply his condolences in a press release on X, previously Twitter.
“We’re shocked and deeply saddened to be taught of the devastating lack of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” Coe wrote. “On behalf of all World Athletics we ship our deepest condolences to their households, mates, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”
“It was solely earlier this week in Chicago, the place the place Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon World Document, that I used to be capable of formally ratify his historic time. An unbelievable athlete leaving an unbelievable legacy, we’ll miss him dearly,” Coe wrote.
David Rudisha, Kenya’s two-time Olympic champion within the 800 meters, wrote on X that Kiptum’s dying was “an enormous loss.”
Kiptum had speedy success by operating the quickest time ever by a marathon debutant on the 2022 Valencia Marathon. The next yr, he gained the London and Chicago races, two of probably the most prestigious marathons on this planet. Whereas younger and new to the circuit, he had already run three of the seven quickest marathon occasions ever recorded.
He was the newest of quite a few high Kenyan runners to die in tragic highway accidents.
David Lelei, an All-Africa Video games silver medalist, died in a automotive crash in 2010. Marathon runner Francis Kiplagat was amongst 5 individuals who had been killed in a crash in 2018. Nicholas Bett, who gained gold within the 400 meters hurdles on the 2015 world championships, additionally died in a automotive crash in 2018.
Rudisha, former 10,000 meters world champion Moses Tanui and Olympic silver medalist Paul Tergat have all survived severe highway accidents.
Samuel Wanjiru, the 2008 Olympic marathon champion who was additionally tipped to be an all-time nice, died in 2011 on the age of 24 after falling from a balcony at his house in Kenya.
Supply: sports activities.inquirer.internet