Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, set to compete in Paris Olympics, dies in car crash

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Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who was group to beryllium a superstar of long-distance moving and was a apical contender for golden at nan Olympics successful Paris this year, was killed on pinch his coach successful a car clang successful Kenya.

Their conveyance was nan only 1 progressive successful nan clang precocious Sunday and Kiptum was driving erstwhile it veered disconnected a roadworthy and into a ditch earlier hitting a tree, police said.

Kenya's Kiptum was 24 and 1 of nan astir breathtaking prospects to look successful roadworthy moving successful years, having surgery nan world grounds successful only his 3rd quality successful an elite marathon. His record, group astatine past year's Chicago Marathon, was ratified by world way federation World Athletics conscionable past week.

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His decease reverberated done Kenya, wherever runners are nan biggest sports stars. Kenyans person besides gotten utilized to tragic tales involving their apical athletes aft a number person died successful roadworthy crashes, different accidents and home unit cases.

"He was only 24," Kenyan President William Ruto said successful a connection offering his condolences. "Kiptum was our future."

Kiptum and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, were killed successful nan clang astatine astir 11 p.m., constabulary said. It happened adjacent nan municipality of Kaptagat successful occidental Kenya, successful nan bosom of nan high-altitude region that's renowned arsenic a training guidelines for nan champion region runners from Kenya and crossed nan world.

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Kiptum was calved and raised successful nan area.

A 3rd person, a 24-year-old woman, was besides successful nan car and was taken to a infirmary pinch superior injuries, constabulary said. Kiptum and Hakizimana died astatine nan scene.

Athletes and family members, including Kiptum's father, gathered astatine nan infirmary mortuary wherever nan bodies of Kiptum and his coach were taken. One of nan athletes, erstwhile women's steeplechase world champion Milcah Chemos, struggled to speak while breaking down successful tears.

"I person nary words to explicate nan nonaccomplishment of Kelvin," she said.

Kenneth Kimaiyo, a friend of Kiptum, said he arrived astatine nan clang segment soon aft it happened and Kiptum had been thrown retired of nan car. Photos showed nan metallic car pinch a severely mangled tile and nan windshield crushed flat.

Kiptum was nan first man to tally nan marathon successful nether 2 hours, 1 infinitesimal successful an charismatic title erstwhile he group nan world grounds of 2:00.35 successful Chicago successful October, beating nan people of chap Kenyan and marathon awesome Eliud Kipchoge, who is nan reigning two-time Olympic champion.

Kiptum and Kipchoge were expected to supply an enticing all-Kenyan conflict for marathon golden successful Paris and Kiptum was owed to commencement his play astatine nan Rotterdam Marathon successful April, which would person been his first arena since breaking nan world record.

"An jock who had a full life up of him to execute unthinkable greatness," Kipchoge said successful a connection paying tribute.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe was 1 of nan first to connection his condolences successful a connection connected X, formerly Twitter.

"We are shocked and profoundly saddened to study of nan devastating nonaccomplishment of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana," Coe wrote.

"It was only earlier this week successful Chicago, nan spot wherever Kelvin group his bonzer marathon World Record, that I was capable to officially ratify his historical time. An unthinkable jock leaving an unthinkable legacy, we will miss him dearly."

David Rudisha, Kenya's two-time Olympic champion successful nan 800 meters, wrote connected X that Kiptum's decease was "a immense loss."

Kiptum had contiguous occurrence by moving nan fastest clip ever by a marathon debutant astatine nan 2022 Valencia Marathon. The pursuing year, he won nan London and Chicago races, 2 of nan astir prestigious marathons successful nan world. He group a caller people grounds astatine nan London Marathon past April and past became nan fastest marathoner successful nan world months later.

While young and caller to nan circuit, he had already tally 3 of nan 7 fastest marathon times ever recorded and was seen arsenic a uncommon talent.

But he was besides nan latest Kenyan prima to dice successful devastating circumstances.

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David Lelei, an All-Africa Games metallic medalist, died successful a car clang successful 2010. Marathon runner Francis Kiplagat was among 5 group who were killed successful a clang successful 2018. Nicholas Bett, who won golden successful nan 400 metre hurdles astatine nan 2015 world championships, besides died successful a car clang successful 2018.

Rudisha, erstwhile 10,000 meters world champion Moses Tanui and Olympic metallic medalist Paul Tergat person each survived superior roadworthy accidents successful nan East African country.

Samuel Wanjiru, nan 2008 Olympic marathon champion who was besides tipped to beryllium an all-time great, died successful 2011 astatine nan property of 24 aft falling from a pavilion astatine his location successful Kenya.

Kenyans were possibly astir shocked erstwhile Agnes Tirop, a aggregate cross-country world champion, was stabbed to decease successful her location successful 2021, allegedly by her husband. He was charged pinch murder.