The men’s marathon world record holder, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, 24, has died in a road accident in his home country.
He was killed alongside his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, in a car on a road in western Kenya on Sunday.
Kiptum made a breakthrough in 2023 as a rival to compatriot Eliud Kipchoge – one of the greatest marathon runners.
And it was in Chicago last October that Kiptum bettered Kipchoge’s achievement, clocking the 26.1 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds.
The two athletes had been named in Kenya’s provisional marathon team for the Paris Olympics later this year.
Paying tribute to Kiptum, Kenyan Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba wrote on X: “Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.”
Opposition leader and former prime minister, Raila Odinga, said the country had lost “a true hero” and was mourning “a remarkable individual… and Kenyan athletics icon”.
Sebastian Coe, the president of World Athletics, said Kiptum was “an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly”.
The road accident happened at about 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday, police were quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
Giving further details of the crash, police said Kiptum was the driver, and the vehicle “lost control and rolled, killing the two on the spot”.
Courtesy of bbc sports