Nairobi — Kelvin Kiptum's tragic death Sunday night has taken Kenya the rest of the world into shock, the 24-year old's passing sending a wave of grief across the globe at a life cut short at a tender age, just when his marathon career was beginning to show it's first flowers.
Kiptum, 24, and his Rwandese coach Gervais Hakizimana were in a fatal accident around 11pm Sunday night in Elgeyo Marakwet, while a third occupant in their ill-fated Toyota Premier vehicle was taken to hospital.
He passed away just less than a week after World Athletics ratified his world record from the Chicago Marathon last October, where he became the first man to run a marathon in under two hours and a minute.
"On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation. An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly," World Athletics boss Seb Coe said in a statement posted on social platform X.
Top ranking government officials led by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi expressed their deepest shock on learning of the budding athlete's death.
"He made an indelible mark not only through his achievements but also through mentorship and leadership, guiding aspiring athletes to reach their full potential. The legacy he leaves behind is a testament to passion and commitment to excellence," Mudavadi remarked.
Olympic champion and 800m World Record holder David Rudisha also expressed his heartbreak following Kiptum's passing on.
"I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn the passing of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana. My condolences to the families, friends, athletics fraternity and Kenya at large. This is a huge loss," said Rudisha.