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Kelvin Kiptum: Kenya's top athlete dies in road accident

The wreckage of the vehicle in which world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Garvais Hakizimana traveled before a fatal accident, Feb. 12, 2024.   -  
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**Kenyans woke up on Monday to the news of the death of world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who was killed in a road accident near Eldoret town in western Kenya on Sunday night. **

Kiptum was in the company of his Rwandan coach Garbes Hakizimana who was also killed and a third occupant who is said to be in a critical condition in a local hospital. 

President William Ruto has joined the country in offering his condolences to the athlete's family, describing Kiptum as a star and a fine sports man. 

Kiptum was only 24 at the time of his death and his world marathon record, set at last year's Chicago Marathon, was ratified by international track federation World Athletics just last week.

The young athlete was set to be a superstar of long-distance running, following in the footsteps of previous world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, and deemed a top contender for gold at the Olympics in Paris this year.

The vehicle in which the three were travelling was the only one involved in the crash on Sunday and Kiptum was driving when it veered off a road and into a ditch before hitting a tree, police said.

His death has reverberated through Kenya, where runners are the biggest sports stars. 

Kenyans are all too used to tragic tales involving their top athletes after a number have died in road crashes, other accidents and domestic violence cases.

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