Kelvin Kiptum: Hundreds gather at state funeral for marathon record holder in Kenya

A portrait of Kelvin Kiptum next to his coffin.
Kelvin Kiptum died earlier this month. Credit: AP

Hundreds of mourners joined family and friends of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum at a state funeral in Kenya following his death in a car crash.

Kenyan President William Ruto and World Athletics boss Lord Sebastian Coe were among the dignitaries to pay their respects on Friday in Naiberi - around four miles from Kiptum's hometown of Chepkorio, in western Kenya.

Kiptum, 24, and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana, both died earlier this month when they were involved in a car crash near the town of Kaptagat.

Kenyan authorities said Kiptum died when the car he was driving veered off the road into a ditch and then hit a large tree. Another passenger was left injured.

Kiptum was regarded as one of the world's most exciting long distance runners, having broke the world record for the time taken to run a marathon - 2 hours and 35 seconds - last October at the Chicago Marathon.

Kelvin Kiptum crosses the finish line to win the men's race at the 2023 London Marathon. Credit: AP

World Athletics only ratified Kiptum's record days before his death.

Lord Coe was among those who paid tribute to Kiptum after his death was announced, describing him as an "incredible athlete".

He had hoped to become the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon in April, before making his Olympics debut in Paris this summer.

Kiptum holds the record for the fastest time as a marathon debutant for his time at the Valencia Marathon in 2022.

The following year, he won the London and Chicago races - two of the most prestigious marathons in the world - setting a course and world record respectively.


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