Kelvin Kiptum, the men’s world record holder in the marathon, died in a car crash in Kenya on Sunday night, a fellow athlete confirmed. He was 24.
Kiptum’s coach was also killed in the crash, Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos said, according to The Associated Press. The crash occurred on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, she said.
Kiptum won the London Marathon last year, SkyNews reported. He also placed first in the Chicago Marathon, becoming the first man to finish the 26.2-mile race in less than 2 hours, 1 minute, according to the news organization. He finished October’s race in 2:00.35.
His record was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week.
Raila Odinga, the country’s former prime minister, tweeted her condolences on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon,” Odinga tweeted. “Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight.
“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.”
The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, said he was “shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kiptum and Hakizimana, according to The Guardian.
“An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly,” Coe said, according to the newspaper.
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