Kelvin Kiptum, the fastest man to ever finish a marathon race, was killed Sunday in a car accident in Kenya, the international track federation World Athletics announced. He was 24 years old.
Kiptum set his blazing 2:00:35 record time at the Chicago Marathon in October. He was the first person to ever finish a record-eligible marathon under 2 hours and one minute.
His running coach, Gervais Hakizimana, was also killed in the accident, which occurred just before 11:00 p.m. local time in western Kenya, AFP reported.
Kiptum was one of the sport’s most exciting and promising prospects, World Athletics said. The group named him the 2023 World Athlete of the Year.
“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,” he continued. “An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly.”
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga mourned the loss on X, formerly Twitter, dubbing Kiptum a “true hero” of the country.
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