Mourners have gathered to pay tribute to marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum where the Kenyan star was tragically killed in a car accident on Sunday.

The runner passed away on Sunday at the age of 24 in his native Kenya, with his coach, Rwanda’s Gervais Hakizimana, 37, also killed in the road accident near Kaptagat.

The area in the south-west of Kenya is renowned as a training base for distance runners.

Members of the public visited the scene of the accident on Monday to pay their tributes to the late star.

Fellow Kenyan long-distance stars were also pictured after viewing Kiptum’s body at the Racecourse Mortuary in the Rift Valley town of Eldoret.

Mourners gathered at the scene of the car accident which killed marathon star Kelvin Kiptum

Mourners gathered at the scene of the car accident which killed marathon star Kelvin Kiptum

Fellow runners and members of the public were sombre after viewing Kiptum's body

Fellow runners and members of the public were sombre after viewing Kiptum’s body

Double Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon was pictured in tears at the Racecourse Mortuary

Double Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon was pictured in tears at the Racecourse Mortuary

One woman was seen being carried away after viewing Kiptum's body at the mortuary

One woman was seen being carried away after viewing Kiptum’s body at the mortuary

Mourners gathered to pay their respects to Kiptum following his death on Sunday

Mourners gathered to pay their respects to Kiptum following his death on Sunday

The world record holder and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in the car accident

The world record holder and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in the car accident

Kiptum and Hakizimana died after the marathon runner's car crashed into a tree

Kiptum and Hakizimana died after the marathon runner’s car crashed into a tree

Faith Kipyegon, a double Olympic champion in the women’s 1,500m was pictured in tears after viewing Kiptum’s body.

One woman was pictured being carried away from the mortuary.

Details of the crash were revealed on Monday, with a female passenger, Sharon Chepkemoi, 32, surviving the incident after being taken to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.

According to Kenneth Kimaiyo – one of the first responders at the crash site – via Nation, Kiptum’s body was found under the vehicle with the runner already dead, and Hakizimana still alive on a hill.

The newspaper adds that Kiptum, who was a father of two and the son of a runner and volleyball player, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a big tree at the Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret.

Kiptum had been on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.

Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya, said the vehicle veered off the road into a ditch before hitting a big tree 60 metres from the main road.

He said that the bodies were taken to the hospital for an autopsy which will begin after the families had been briefed and ‘all agreements are done’.

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died after hitting a tree on Sunday

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum died after hitting a tree on Sunday

It is said that Kiptum lost control of his vehicle at Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County

It is said that Kiptum lost control of his vehicle at Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County

Both Kiptum and Hakizimana died at the scene, with the former 'laying under he car with his seat belt ripped'

Both Kiptum and Hakizimana died at the scene, with the former ‘laying under he car with his seat belt ripped’

He added that the accident happened at 8pm GMT on Sunday, 11pm local time, and that the vehicle was ‘extensively damaged’ and towed to a local police station for ‘inspection and police further action’.

Kiptum made history in October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon, smashing his fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 34 seconds. His landmark time was only officially ratified by World Athletics last Tuesday.

World Athletics president Seb Coe led the tributes to Kiptum on Sunday night, saying he was ‘an incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy’.

He wrote on X: ‘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 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.’

Kiptum also won his first London Marathon last April in a course record of 2:01.25, which was then the second fastest marathon time ever. It followed an eye-catching victory on his marathon debut in Valencia in December 2022.

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died at the age of 24

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died at the age of 24

Kiptum (L) and his coach Gervais Hakizimana (R) died in a road accident in Kenya's Kaptagat area at 11pm local time

Kiptum (L) and his coach Gervais Hakizimana (R) died in a road accident in Kenya’s Kaptagat area at 11pm local time

Kiptum made history last October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon

Kiptum made history last October when he clocked 2:00.35 to win the Chicago Marathon

World Athletics president Seb Coe paid tribute to Kiptum and Hakizimana on Sunday night

World Athletics president Seb Coe paid tribute to Kiptum and Hakizimana on Sunday night

Kiptum would have been the favourite to win gold at this summer’s Olympics in Paris, in what was set to be an almighty showdown against his team-mate Kipchoge, the 39-year-old two-time defending champion.

Kipchonge took to X to express his sadness at the news. A post, topped with the words ‘Rest in peace Kelvin,’ read: ‘I am deeply saddened by the tragic passing of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum. 

‘An athlete who had a whole ligfe oahead of him to achieve incredible greatness. 

‘I offer my deepest condolences to his young family. May god comfort you during this trying time.’ 

Raila Odinga, Kenya’s prime minister from 2008 to 2013, wrote on X: ‘Devastating news as we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual, Kelvin Kiptum, World Record holder and Kenyan athletics icon. Together with his coach, they tragically passed on in an accident tonight.

‘My deepest condolences to his loved ones, friends, and the entire athletics fraternity. Our nation grieves the profound loss of a true hero.’

Kenya’s minister for sports Ababu Namwamba wrote: ‘Devastatingly sickening! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.’

London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher wrote: ‘Kelvin had the sport of marathon running in his feet and at his feet. He was a “once in a generation” athlete who was set to redefine the boundaries of our sport. 

The 24-year-old would have been the favourite to win gold at this summer¿s Olympics in Paris

The 24-year-old would have been the favourite to win gold at this summer’s Olympics in Paris

‘Three marathons, three wins. The fastest marathon debutant in Valencia, London’s course record holder and the world record holder in Chicago, all within the space of less than 12 months. His was a flame that burned so bright and last night was tragically put out.

‘As a sport we mourn for a life so tragically cut short, a talent and a work ethos that was only starting to be appreciated and a man that we had only just started to know.

‘Our thoughts are with his family and friends and those of his coach Gervais.

‘We hope that Sharon Chepkurui Kosgei, who was travelling with them, makes a full and speedy recovery.’

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