The athletics world is in mourning after the loss of Kelvin Kiptum - a Kenyan marathon star and the most recent holder of the discipline's world record. The young Kelvin Kiptum, 24, died in a car accident in Kaptagat, Kenya, along with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.
Shock has been felt within the sporting fraternity after the incidence occurred late Sunday evening. His car swerved off the road and hit a tree at around 11 pm, according to The Guardian. Both Kiptum and Hakizimana died on the spot while the third passenger was rushed to the Eldoret Racecourse Hospital.
The tragic incident has occurred just after World Athletics ratified Kelvin Kiptum's world marathon record time of 2:00:35. Already a top figure in marathon running with the zeal of breaking the two-hour barrier in the scheduled Rotterdam marathon in April, the Chicago achievement had the setting had positioned Kelvin Kiptum on the world map.
Kelvin Kiptum's Swift Ascent
Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, sent his condolences: "We are shocked and deeply saddened by the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana," he said.
"We extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families, friends, teammates, and the entire Kenyan community." A meteoric rise in the long-distance running world for Kiptum: Kiptum's international debut was only this year, but he quickly became one of the foremost athletes in the marathon world.
A win in Valencia last December started his fantastic journey, a record in the London Marathon and culminating with the world record in Chicago, bettering Eliud Kipchoge's previous best by 34 seconds. A sad day to the Athletics family, indeed, when one of Kenya's stars, Agnes Tirop, was found dead at the age of 25.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga echoed the words of the nation. "We mourn the loss of Kelvin Kiptum, a world record holder and a symbol of Kenyan athletic excellence. The nation grieves a true hero."