The Kenyan Minister of Sports said that Kelvin Kiptum (24 years old), the world record holder in the marathon, lost his life in a traffic accident.
Reuters quoted the country's sports minister as saying that Kiptom had died, and another athlete told the Associated Press the same thing. Many Kenyan media outlets wrote that the incident occurred in the Kaptagat region, southwest of the country.
Daily Nation Police Chief Peter Mulling is quoted as saying that the accident occurred at 11 pm local time, and that Kiptom and two others were with him in the car.
Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, said that his coach, Gervais Haizimana, also died in the accident.
The third person must have been taken to hospital with serious injuries.
– It's a shock that someone who was blessed by God, who ran like that, seems to be gone, NRK athletics commentator Jan Post tells the channel.
Kiptum ran to a new track record in October with a time of 2.00.35. He thus broke the old world record of 2.01.09 set by Eliud Kipchoge during the 2022 Berlin Marathon.
– We are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the tragic passing of Kelvin Kiptom and his coach Jervis Hakizimana, writes Ko on X.
He also wrote that, on behalf of the Athletics Federation, he sends his deepest condolences to their families and friends.
-He was an amazing athlete and left behind an incredible legacy. “He will be sorely missed,” the president further writes.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”