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Kenya's marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies in accident, family mourns

Kenya's marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies in accident, family mourns

Relatives and community members of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum in Elgeyo Marakwet county gathered at the running prodigy's home on Monday (February 12) to comfort his family after hearing of his death in a fatal car accident.

His father wept and was overcome by emotions as he sat among the mourners.

It was only weeks ago that Kiptum vowed to break his own world record to become the first athlete to finish the marathon in under two hours in a forthcoming race in Rotterdam in April, as well as making his Olympic debut in Paris this summer.

That dream was shattered on Sunday (February 11), when the 24-year-old father-of-two was killed together with his coach in a car accident in the Rift Valley. Police said the athlete lost control of the vehicle he was driving and veered off the road into a ditch, travelling for about 60 metres along it before crashing into a large tree.

His father Samson Cheruyot, a farmer, said Kiptum hoped to transform his family's lives with his suddenly found fame and they had discussed building a house and getting a car for the family.

His wife, Asenath Cheruto Rotich, says that Kiptum was a loving father. Rotich said she was now concerned over the welfare of their two children and appealed to the government for help.

The 24-year-old set the world record at the Chicago Marathon in October with a time of two hours and 35 seconds to surpass the mark of 2:01:09 run by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin in 2022.

According to the police report, Kiptum was driving his Rwandan coach and a woman in a car near the Rift Valley village where he was born when the accident occurred.

The athlete lost control of the vehicle and veered off the road into a ditch, travelling for about 60 metres along it before crashing into a large tree.

Kiptum and Gervais Hakizimana died at the scene but the woman, 24-year-old Sharon Chepkurui Kosgei Keiyo, survived with serious injuries and was treated at a local hospital.

Kenya's marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum dies in accident, family mourns

Reuters

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