Nairobi- The father of Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum, world marathon record holder, asked the government of Kenya to investigate the circumstances of the death of his son, who died on Sunday night in a traffic accident in the west of the country.
“There were some people who arrived a few days ago looking for Kiptum, but they refused to identify themselves. “I asked them to show me some identification, but they chose to leave.”said the athlete’s father, Samson Cheruiyot, in statements reported by local media.
“Kiptum was my only son. He has left me, his mother and his children. (…) I am deeply saddened,” added Cheruiyot.
Excited, he noted that his son assured him the last time they spoke that he felt good and that he was prepared to break the marathon record again, under two hours.
“He told me that someone will come and help us build a house. She said that his body is now in shape and that he can now run for (achieve) 1:59 (one hour and 59 seconds)” in the marathon test, the athlete’s father revealed.
The father added that he found out about the misfortune on television.
“I received the news of my son’s death while watching the news. I went to the accident site, but the police had taken the body to Eldoret,” Cheruiyot recalled.
The governor of the Kenyan county of Uasin Gishu (where the incident occurred), Jonathan Bii, joined the petition of the athlete’s father.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Kiptum and we ask the Police to accelerate the investigations so that we can know what caused the accident,” Bii said in statements to reporters.
The athlete’s body has been transferred from the Race Course Hospital morgue, where dozens of athletes and acquaintances have come to say goodbye to their friend, to the Eldoret Hospital morgue.
The death of Kiptum, 24, caused enormous shock in Kenya, which reacted with numerous expressions of consternation and tributes for the death.
The young athlete died along with his coach, the Rwandan Gervais Hakizimana, in a traffic accident that occurred around 11:00 at night on the road that connects Eldoret with Kaptagat, in western Kenya, in a car driven by own athlete.
According to authorities, there was a third occupant in the vehicle who survived and has been taken to a hospital.
The accident also unleashed a wave of condolences at an international level praising the figure of Kiptum, called to mark an era in athletics due to his youth and for being the main candidate to go under two hours in the mythical distance.
He rose to world fame on October 8, when the Kenyan clocked a time of 2:00:35 and clearly lowered the previous record held by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge with 2:01:09, achieved in Berlin on September 25, 2022.
Kipchoge, 39, was deeply saddened today by the death of his partner, who “had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness.”