World record marathon holder Kevin Kiptum has tragically died aged 24 years old.
Kiptum, who grew up in Chepkorio, Kenya, was a long-distance runner and was considered one of the greatest in his field.
At this summer’s Olympics in Paris, he was a favourite to win gold.
The sportsman made history last October when he clocked 2:00.35, winning the Chicago marathon. He smashed his fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record by a whopping 34 seconds.
Kiptum’s landmark time was only officially approved by World Athletics last Tuesday.
Following the achievement, it has devastatingly been confirmed that Kiptum has died.
Related Article: Olympian Shawn Barber Has Died Aged 29
Related Article: Country Music Legend Toby Keith’s Cause Of Death Confirmed
After hearing the saddening news on Sunday night, World Athletics president Seb Coe took to social media and led the tributes.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” he penned on X (formerly known as Twitter).
“On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.
“It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon world record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time.
“An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly.”
We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.
On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.
It was only earlier this week in… pic.twitter.com/dDBKgjXNKL
— Seb Coe (@sebcoe) February 11, 2024
Hundreds of others have also taken to the social media platform and paid tribute, with one person penning: “Such sad news. RIP Kevin Kiptum.”
“The passing of elite marathoner Kevin Kiptum leaves an immense void in the world of distance running, through sheer talent and grit was a north star who guided many athletes to push boundaries thought impossible, deepest condolences to his family and the entire athletics fraternity,” another adds.
While somebody else says: A promising son of Kenya is gone forever. Lala Salama [sleep peacefully] our own Kevin Kiptum. RIP.”
Amid the outpouring of tributes, devastating details regarding the death of Kiptum have emerged.
Related Article: Olympic Cyclist Melissa Hoskins Has Died Aged 32
The men’s marathon world record holder died in a road accident in his home country, as per the BBC.
Kiptum was killed alongside his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, 36, in a car on Sunday.
The tragedy reportedly took place at about 11pm, police were quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
Police have reportedly said that Kiptum was the driver and that the vehicle ‘lost control and rolled, killing the two on the spot’.
A spokesperson, quoted by AFP, reportedly said there was a third passenger – a female who was injured and ‘rushed to hospital’.
Kiptum’s passing comes after he recently announced plans to become the first athlete to run an official marathon in under two hours, in Rotterdam in April.