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Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies, aged 24

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies, aged 24
© Reuters
Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, 24, and his coach Gervais Hakizimana die in a road accident in their home country of Kenya.

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died in a road accident aged just 24.

The Kenyan was involved in the tragic accident on the Eldoret-Kaptagat Road in his home country while travelling in a vehicle close to where he was training.

His coach Gervais Hakizimana was also in the car at the time of the accident and also died as a result of his injuries.

Kiptum earned worldwide recognition when he clocked the fastest open-competition marathon time in history last year, completing the Chicago Marathon in just 2:00:35 - a time that was only officially ratified last Tuesday.

That was just his third professional marathon race, having previously run a 2:01:53 to win in Valencia on his debut over the distance in December 2022, and then broken the London Marathon course record with a time of 2:01:25 in April last year.

Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum celebrates winning the London Marathon on April 23, 2023)© Reuters

Kiptum's time in Chicago saw him break the record previously held by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge by 34 seconds, and just last week he had signalled his intention to attempt the first-ever sub-two hour marathon in Rotterdam this April.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana," World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said in a statement.

"On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.

"It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon world record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time.

"An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly."

Kiptum was set to be the favourite to win marathon gold at this summer's Olympics in Paris.

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