Kelvin Kiptum, who held the world record for the marathon and was a favorite to win gold at the Olympics, died at the age of 24.
Kelvin Kiptum, who held the world record for the marathon and was a favorite to win gold at the Olympics, died at the age of 24.

Someone very important in sports died on Sunday. The world record leader for the marathon, Kelvin Kiptum, died in a car accident when he was 24 years old.

A statement from the police says Kiptum lost control of his car near Kaptagat in the southwest of Kenya at 11 p.m. The car drove off the road, into a ditch, and then hit a tree.

Nation says that when the first rescuers got there, he was already dead.

Gervais Hakizimana, his 36-year-old coach, also died in the crash. A third person who was hurt in the accident was taken to the hospital.

Kiptum started running competitively when he was a youth. He got better and better until he was one of the best marathon runners in the world by 2022. At the Valencia Marathon that year, he won in 2:01:53, which was the fourth-fastest time ever. It was his first time running that far.

The next year, he won the London Marathon and then set a new record in Chicago. On October 8, Kiptum ran the 42.195-kilometer course in 2:00:35, beating the old record by 34 seconds and becoming the first man to run a race in less than 2:01:00.

Because of how quickly he rose through the ranks, Kiptum was seen as the clear favorite for the upcoming Olympics in Paris and a possible candidate to break the legendary 2-hour limit. Those hopes were dashed when he died.

Fans, his wife, and their two kids will miss him.

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