Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum, big favorite for the Olympic title in the discipline at the Paris Games this summer, died in a road accident in central Kenya on Sunday evening at the age of 24. “The accident occurred around 11 p.m. (9 p.m. in France). The car had three occupants. Two died on the spot while one was taken to hospital,” Elgeyo Marakwet County Commander Peter Mulinge told reporters, confirming that “the two (dead) are Kiptum and his trainer.” Gervais Hakizimana. He added: “It was Kiptum who was driving towards Eldoret and the driver lost control (of the vehicle) (...), killing both on the spot. A female passenger was injured and was rushed to hospital.”
Questioned by the local press, the athlete's father, Samson Cheruiyot, requested that an investigation be opened by the Kenyan government to clarify the circumstances of his death. “A few days ago, people came looking for Kiptum, but they refused to identify themselves. I asked them to show me identification, but they chose to leave,” he said. “Kiptum was my only son. He left me, his mother and his children. (...) I am deeply saddened,” added Cheruiyot.
“I heard the news of my son's death while watching the news. I went to the scene of the accident, but the police had taken the body to Eldoret,” says the father of the Kenyan athlete. Kiptum lost his life not far from his training routes and his original village of Chepkorio, about forty kilometers from Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, the center of Kenyan long-distance running.