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Remembering Kevin Kiptum: A Tragic End to a Promising Career (1999-2024)

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On Sunday 11th February 2024, tragedy struck the world after the breaking news of the sudden demise of world record holder, Kevin Kiptum Cheruiyot . The marathon world record holder, lost his life in a fatal accident on Sunday night.  The incident occurred on the Eldoret-Kaptagat Road, claiming not only Kiptum’s life but also that of his Rwandese coach, Garvais Hakiziman.

The tragic accident occurred around 11 pm, with the vehicle carrying three occupants. Unfortunately, both Kiptum and Hakizimana succumbed to their injuries at the scene, while the third occupant was rushed to the hospital for medical attention, according to Elgeyo Marakwet County Commander Peter Mulinge as per Capital Sports.

The untimely death happened just days after Kiptum made exceptional achievements which was officially recognized by World Athletics. He made an explosive entry into the full 42.195km distance by running the then fourth fastest time on record (2.01.53) to win the 2022 Valencia Marathon on debut. That race revealed his trademark approach to marathons, running with the pack for the first 30kms and then upping the pace and racing off alone for the remainder of the race.

 Kiptum, who clocked three of the seven fastest marathon times in history, had been hoping to become the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in race conditions at Rotterdam in April as well as make his Olympic debut in Paris in July.

He solidified his status as the first man to complete a marathon in under 2:01. In an outstanding performance, he clocked an impressive time of 2:00:35 to secure victory at the Chicago Marathon in October. This victorious race was the in final one in his career.

Kiptum’s promising career, which had just begun to unfold, was abruptly cut short. He was a vital member of Kenya’s Olympic Games team slated for Paris the following year and was expected to team up with Eliud Kipchoge, the former marathon world record holder.

Kiptum will not only be celebrated for his record-breaking performances, but also will be remembered for being an incredible talent, a source of inspiration for aspiring athletes in his community and as an even more magnificent person. 

The tragic end to Kevin Kiptum’s life has left a void in the athletics world, serving as a somber reminder of the fragility of life and the unpredictable nature of destiny. As the sports community mourns his loss, Kiptum’s legacy will endure through the memories of his achievements and the impact he had on those who knew him.

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