LMarathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach died in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday, a fellow athlete who went to the hospital and saw Kiptum’s body said.
Kiptum, 24, was on course to be a superstar of long-distance running.
The crash happened on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, she said, in the heart of the high-altitude region that’s renowned as a training base for long distance runners.
Chemos said she was among a group of athletes who had gone to the hospital in Eldoret after hearing the news of the crash. Family members of Kiptum were also with them to identify his body, Chemos said.
Kenyan media reported that a third person, a woman, was in the car and was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries.
“He was a very humble person, a young family of a wife and two children. He had just started his young career and we were hoping he would go pretty far in his career,” Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei told VOA.
“When I talked to him last time, he was telling me that he was looking forward to bringing the marathon record lower than two hours.”
Kiptum was the first man to run the marathon in under 2 hours, 1 minute.
He set the new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge.
Credit: AP/VOA Africa