Kenyan leaders have mourned the shocking death of Kenyan world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum who died in a road accident on Sunday night.
Kiptum, 24, died together with his Rwandese coach Garvis Hakizimana at around 11 pm at the Kaptagat area along Elgeyo Marakwet-Ravine road. Police reports say the two died on the spot due to the impact of the fatal accident.
As leaders and prominent persons across the globe sent their condolences, President William Ruto took to X mourning the unfortunate death of the rising star.
“He was only 24 yet, as a hero, triumphed in Valencia, Chicago, London and in other top competitions. His mental strength and discipline were unmatched. Kiptum was our future,” said Ruto.
“An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark in the globe. Our thoughts are with the family and the sporting fraternity. Rest In Peace.”
First Lady Rachel Ruto also wrote on the same platform celebrating the champion for the outstanding achievements he made while dominating the marathon tracks.
“Kelvin was a symbol of resilience, hard work, and the indomitable spirit of the Kenyan people. His dedication to his craft and his pursuit of greatness inspired countless individuals, both in Kenya and around the world,” she said.
“I extend my deepest condolences to the families, friends, teammates, and the entire Kenyan nation. Kelvin’s memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew him, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.”
Opposition leader Raila Odinga also expressed disappointment at the devastating news, remembering him as a remarkable individual
“My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero,” said Raila.
His Azimio la Umoja coalition counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka also noted that the marathon champion passed on too soon and had limitless potential.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Kiptum’s family, indeed the larger Athletics family at this most difficult time,” he said.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said that Kiptum’s death has left a void in the world of marathon running and still had much potential to showcase his full potential.
“The loss of Kelvin and his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, is deeply felt throughout the athletic community, serving as a stark reminder of the fragility of life,” he said.
Kiptum’s death has also seen World Athletics president Sebastian Coe alongside top marathoners and athletes mourn.
Kiptum rose to prominence in the world of athletics after registering the fastest marathon debut in Valencia in 2022.
He continued to rise in 2023 when he conquered the London Marathon with a course record of 2:01:25 in April.
In October when Kiptum made headlines after he shattered the men’s world record by clocking 2:00:35, to become the first man to run a marathon in under two hours and one minute, and taking 34 seconds off fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record.
Kiptum’s world marathon mark was ratified just last week by the international track federation World Athletics and was preparing to open his new season at the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14 this year before joining the Kenyan team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.