Kelvin Kiptum, the current men’s marathon world record holder, tragically passed away in a car accident in his native Kenya.
He was just 24 years old.
Kiptum’s coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also perished in the crash, which occurred on a road in western Kenya on Sunday evening.
The two were travelling with a female passenger who sustained injuries and was rushed to the hospital, according to AFP.
Kiptum rose to prominence in the running world in 2022 when he won the Valencia Marathon with a time of 2:01:53, the fourth-fastest marathon time ever recorded at the time.
He went on to set a course record of 2:01:25 at the London Marathon six months later, solidifying his status as a rising star in long-distance running.
In October 2023, Kiptum shattered the world record in the Chicago Marathon, completing the race in 2:00:35, 34 seconds faster than the previous record held by his fellow Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge.
Kiptum’s impressive performances earned him a place on Kenya’s provisional Olympic team for the upcoming Paris Games.
His unexpected passing has sent shockwaves through the sports community, with many paying tribute to his talent and dedication.
Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba described Kiptum’s death as “devastatingly sickening,” while opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga called him a “true hero” and an “icon of Kenyan athletics.”
Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, praised Kiptum as an “incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy.”