The world of athletics is mourning the loss of Kelvin Kiptum, Kenya’s marathon world record holder, whose promising career was tragically cut short in a road accident in the Rift Valley on Sunday.
Kiptum, renowned for his exceptional speed and endurance, was just 24 years old.
Kiptum’s remarkable journey to greatness culminated in his smashing of the marathon world record at the Chicago Marathon in October, clocking an unprecedented time of two hours and 35 seconds.
This achievement solidified his status as one of the most exceptional athletes of his generation, surpassing the previous record set by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022.
The young athlete, known for his explosive racing style and strategic prowess, had set his sights on breaking the elusive two-hour mark in the upcoming Rotterdam Marathon and making his Olympic debut in Paris.
However, his dreams were abruptly shattered in the tragic accident that claimed his life and that of his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” expressed World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, reflecting the sentiments of the entire athletics community. “An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly.”
Reports indicate that Kiptum was driving with his coach and a companion near his birthplace when the accident occurred. While Kiptum and Hakizimana tragically lost their lives, the third occupant of the vehicle, Sharon Kosgey, survived with serious injuries and is currently receiving medical treatment.
Tributes poured in from all corners of Kenya, with senior politicians and government officials expressing their condolences and recognizing Kiptum’s remarkable contributions to the nation’s athletic legacy.
“Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon,” shared former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga. “Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.”
Kelvin Kiptum’s legacy will forever be remembered in the annals of athletics history, his explosive talent and unwavering determination leaving an indelible mark on the sport.