Kenyan marathon world record-holder Kiptum killed in car crash
AFP | Nairobi
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Tributes poured in yesterday for Kenyan running sensation Kelvin Kiptum after the marathon world record-holder was killed in a car crash at the age of 24. The death of Kiptum, favourite for the marathon at the Paris Olympics later this year, has shocked Kenya and the world of athletics.
The father of two was driving from Kaptagat to Eldoret in the Rift Valley, the heartland of Kenyan distance running, around 11 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday when his car careered off the road and hit a tree. Police said Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed on the spot while a woman passenger was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
"He lost control and veered off-road entering into a ditch on his left side. He drove in the ditch for about 60 metres before hitting a big tree," said an official police report from Elgeyo Marakwet County where the accident occurred. Images on Kenyan media showed the mangled wreck of the vehicle, its windscreen shattered, the roof and doors buckled and almost ripped off.
From herding goats in a Rift Valley village just a decade ago, Kiptum had announced he would attempt in April to become the first man to run an official marathon under the mythic two-hour mark.
He burst onto the marathon scene when he ran a world record 2:00:35 in Chicago in October, slicing 34 seconds off fellow Kenyan star Eliud Kipchoge's previous record. He was just 23 at the time, and competing in only his third marathon. Kiptum also won his other two efforts -- his debut in Valencia in 2022 and a follow-up in London the following year.