Kelvin Kiptum dies: Sir Mo Farah says Kenyan was a ‘special talent’


Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum was a “special talent” who would gone on to have an “incredible career”, says Sir Mo Farah.

Kiptum, 24, died in a car crash alongside his coach Gervais Hakizimana in his native Kenya on Sunday.

He broke Eliud Kipchoge’s world record last year and was set to compete at this summer’s Olympics in Paris.

“Kelvin was an amazingly talented athlete and had already achieved so much,” Briton Farah said.

Farah, Britain’s four-time Olympic champion over 5,000 and 10,000m, finished ninth in last year’s London Marathon – a race Kiptum won in a record time of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds.

“He truly had a special talent and I have no doubt he would have gone on to have had an incredible career,” Farah said.

“I send all my sympathies and condolences to his and Gervais’ family and friends at this tragic time.”

Kiptum also broke the record for fastest debut marathon in Valencia in 2022 before bettering Eliud Kipchoge’s overall record in Chicago in October last year, clocking the 26.2 miles (42km) in two hours and 35 seconds.

Just last week, his team announced that he would attempt to become the first person to run the distance in less than two hours in open competition.

Britain’s Emile Cairess, who finished sixth in London last year behind Kiptum, said the Kenyan could have become “Usain Bolt-esque” as a “figurehead of athletics”.

“It’s a massive blow because at his level, someone can really capture the attention of people outside off the sport,” Cairess told the BBC.

“Many people thought they would never see a sub two-hour marathon in their lifetimes but since he came along, it’s like it was just a given that he would do it because of his exceptional performances so far.

“It was almost certain that he would have done it. It’s terribly sad and a real shame that we won’t get to see him again or to attack that barrier.”


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