Kelvin Kiptum, marathon world record-holder and Olympic gold favorite, dead at 24

The sports world lost one of its biggest stars on Sunday. Kelvin Kiptum, the current marathon world record-holder, was killed in a car crash at the age of 24.

According to a police statement, Kiptum lost control of his vehicle near Kaptagat in the southwest of Kenya, at 11 p.m. local time. The car went off the road and into ditch before colliding with a tree.

According to Nation, he was already dead by the time first responders arrived at the scene.

His coach, 36-year-old Gervais Hakizimana, also did not survive the accident. A third person involved in the crash was taken to hospital.

Kiptum started competitive running as a teenager, and steadily improved to become one of the world’s top marathon runners by 2022. He ran the fourth-fastest time ever at the Valencia Marathon that year, winning at 2:01:53 in his debut at that distance.

The following year, he won the London Marathon before setting a new all-time mark in Chicago: Kiptum managed the 42.195 kilometers in 2:00:35 on October 8, becoming the first man to clock at under 2:01:00 in a race and breaking the previous record by 34 seconds.

Due to his meteoric rise, Kiptum was considered the gold favorite for the upcoming Paris Olympics as well as a candidate to break the mythical 2-hour barrier. His death put an end to those aspirations.

Kiptum is survived by his wife and their two children.

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