Kelvin Kiptum, the marathon world-record holder poised to become a star in long-distance running and a leading contender for gold at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, tragically lost his life alongside his coach in a car accident in Kenya,leadership reports.

According to ESPN, the accident occurred late Sunday, with Kiptum at the wheel of their vehicle, which veered off the road and into a ditch before colliding with a tree. The crash, involving only their vehicle, claimed the lives of Kiptum and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana.

Kiptum, a rising star at just 24 years old, had recently broken the world record at the Chicago Marathon, an achievement officially recognized by the international track federation World Athletics just a week before the accident.

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Kenyan President William Ruto expressed condolences, recognizing Kiptum’s immense potential and describing him as “our future.”

The tragic accident occurred near Kapsabet, a town in western Kenya known as a hub for elite distance runners due to its high-altitude training conditions. Kiptum, born and raised in the region, was deeply rooted in the local running community.

A third person in the vehicle, a 24-year-old woman, sustained serious injuries and was hospitalized. However, Kiptum and Hakizimana succumbed to their injuries at the scene.

At the hospital mortuary, where the bodies were taken, athletes, including Kiptum’s father, gathered to mourn the loss. Emotions ran high, with former women’s steeplechase world champion Milcah Chemos struggling to find words through tears.

Kenneth Kimaiyo, a friend of Kiptum, recounted arriving at the crash site shortly after the incident, witnessing the devastation of the accident scene and Kiptum’s tragic fate.

Kiptum’s groundbreaking achievement in breaking the two-hour mark for the marathon, with a world-record time of 2:00.35 in Chicago, solidified his status as a legend in the sport, surpassing the mark set by fellow Kenyan marathon great Eliud Kipchoge.


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