Talented Kenyan athlete, Kelvin Kiptum, received numerous tributes on Monday after his sorrowful death at 24 in a car accident in his homeland.
Kiptum, recognized as a top contender for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, was en route from Kaptagat to Eldoret in western Kenya around 11 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday when his car overturned.
The police commander of Elgeyo Marakwet County, Peter Mulinge, stated that Kiptum and his Rwandan coach, Gervais Hakizimana, lost their lives in the accident, while a female passenger was injured.
“The car had three occupants; two died on the spot, while one was taken to hospital. The two are Kiptum and his coach.
“It is Kiptum who was driving heading to Eldoret, and the vehicle lost control and rolled, killing the two on the spot,” Mulinge told reporters.
Kiptum made a remarkable debut in the marathon scene by breaking the world record with a time of 2:00:35 in Chicago in October.
This was 34 seconds faster than the previous record set by another Kenyan runner, Eliud Kipchoge.
At the time, Kiptum was only 23 years old and had participated in just three marathons.
Apart from his record-breaking run in Chicago, Kiptum also won the other two marathons he participated in.
His first victory was in Valencia in 2022, and the second was in London the following year.
Kenyan President William Ruto described Kiptum as “our future” and “an extraordinary sportsman” in a post on X.
“Arguably one of the world’s finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record,” he said.