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Tragic Accident Claims World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum And Coach Gervais Hakizimana

3 weeks agoMon, 12 Feb 2024 07:48:42 GMT
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Tragic Accident Claims World Marathon Record Holder Kelvin Kiptum And Coach Gervais Hakizimana

In a devastating incident, Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, lost his life in a road accident outside Eldoret in western Kenya on Sunday. The 24-year-old athlete was driving the vehicle, along with his 36-year-old coach, Gervais Hakizimana from Rwanda, who also perished in the accident. The crash occurred on the Eldoret-Kaptagat road.

Citing a police statement, CNN International Correspondent Larry Madowo said Kiptum died on the spot while a third occupant survived with serious injuries.

Kiptum had recently achieved fame for his outstanding performance in the Chicago Marathon last year. His marathon time of 2 hours, 35 seconds broke the previous record held by renowned marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge. World Athletics had recently ratified Kiptum’s record-setting time. At the young age of 24, he had already reached the pinnacle of his career.

The news of Kiptum’s tragic demise sent shockwaves throughout the sports world. Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba expressed his grief, describing Kiptum as a precious gem that Kenya had lost. Raila Odinga, the country’s opposition leader and former prime minister, mourned the loss of a “true hero” and a remarkable individual who had become an icon in Kenyan athletics. Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, paid tribute to Kiptum, highlighting his incredible athletic abilities and the legacy he leaves behind.

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The accident occurred late in the evening, with the vehicle losing control and rolling, resulting in the immediate fatalities of Kiptum and Hakizimana. The third passenger, a female, sustained injuries and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Kiptum’s rise to fame had been rapid, having only competed in his first full marathon in 2022. He overcame financial difficulties and lack of resources to pursue his passion for running. Hakizimana, his coach, played a significant role in his journey, helping him train and target the world record. According to BBC, the coach, a retired Rwandan runner, had known Kiptum since the athlete was a young boy herding livestock near his father’s farm.

The loss of Kelvin Kiptum is a tremendous blow to the athletic world, and his achievements will be remembered for years to come. His untimely death leaves a void in the sport, and the impact he had on Kenyan athletics will not be forgotten.

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