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Kenyan residents mourn loss of marathon star Kiptum

Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya celebrates his Chicago Marathon world record victory in Chicago's Grant Park on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023.   -  
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Eileen T. Meslar/AP


The devastating loss of marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum has stirred profound grief and frustration among Nairobi residents, who are demanding accountability for the systemic failures that contributed to his untimely demise.

As the nation mourns the passing of a beloved champion, voices from the capital city emphasize the urgent need for action to address road safety issues and combat corruption.

"He would have been the best marathon runner in the whole world who died mainly due to corruption," remarked Brian Mwangi, a resident of Nairobi. Mwangi pointed to deficiencies in road infrastructure, including the absence of clear markings and guardrails, as factors that exacerbated the severity of the accident. 

**_"For Kenya at large, this is a great loss, we have lost a champion," l_**amented Mercy Nekesa, echoing the sentiments of many Nairobi residents. Nekesa emphasized the void left by Kiptum's passing, particularly as the nation prepares for upcoming marathons. "This is a gold that is just gone," she mourned.

Damski Kisanya echoed the sentiments of his fellow residents, expressing sorrow for the loss of a man with limitless potential and a promising future. "What I can say is that God is going to raise other champions like Kiptum and Kipchoge," Kisanya reflected, highlighting the resilience of Kenya's athletic community in the face of adversity. Despite the loss of Kiptum, Kisanya expressed hope for the emergence of future champions who will carry on his legacy and continue to inspire generations to come.

Marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum, who was set to be a superstar of long-distance running and was a top contender for gold at the Olympics in Paris this year, was killed along with his coach in a car crash in Kenya.

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

Kiptum was 24 and one of the most exciting prospects to emerge in road running in years, having broken the world record in only his third appearance in an elite marathon.

His record, set at last year's Chicago Marathon, was ratified by international track federation World Athletics just last week.

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