He death of Kelvin Kiptum, world marathon record holderleaves orphaned the duel that the Kenyan runner was going to play on the asphalt of Paris with his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in the marathon of the Olympic Gamesan event that would have concentrated millions of viewers around the planet with the double incentive of knowing who would win and if anyone would be able to go under two hours.
Kipchoge, the legend, the best marathon runner in history, against Kiptum, the promise and the fastest in the distance. Two styles, two different athletes, but the same passion and the same challenge, doing kilometers and trying to enter the golden book of world athletics with two hours as a barrier.
In one of the star events of athletics, Kipchoge, double Olympic champion, aims to win third gold in Paris. Now it will be easier for you. His main opponent, the young Kiptum, met his death on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat when he was driving a Toyota Premio with his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.
His death puts an end to a short sporting career. Kiptum, 24, had only run three marathons. He debuted in Valencia, in December 2022, with the fastest time in history for a rookie in the race (2h.01:53) and later, in 2023, he won first in London with 2h01:25 and on October 8 He broke the world record for the distance with 2h00:35, taking the previous record from Kipchoge.
“I have not received a personal message from Eliud Kipchoge but if I am selected to participate in the Paris Olympic Games, “I’m ready to run with him,” Kiptum said in the Kenyan press a few days after winning in Chicago.
Kiptum’s emergence reopened the debate about whether Kipchoge could continue winning or the young Kenyan would, on his own merits, be his worthy successor. During this time Kipchoge has been sending messages about his ambition to win Olympic gold for the third time in Paris. To do this, his roadmap will stop at the Tokyo marathon in preparation. Kiptum had planned Rotterdam, a marathon with less impact and prestige but very fast. Ideal to make another good mark.
What is clear is that Kipchoge has marked an era in world athletics and his figure is still present and continues to be highly respected on the international circuit. Kiptum burst onto the athletic scene as an emerging talent with future qualities to mark another era.
“Kipchoge has marked an era. The spectacle he has given, everything he has done and how he has done it make him an example for everyone. Kiptum has just arrived and may be the first to run under two hours, but “I choose Kipchoge for his elegance, his knowing how to be, his way of facing triumph and failure.”Yago Rojo, the Spanish half marathon champion and aspiring to be on that starting line of the Paris Olympic marathon, told EFE on February 6.
Precisely that day, February 6, 2024, World Athletics officially ratified Kiptum’s 2h00:35 in the 2023 Chicago Marathon. A time that every athletics lover has engraved in their mind. Also another legend like the Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, triple Olympic champion of 5,000 and 10,000 meters, double winner of the Berlin marathon and who, at 41 years old, is focusing all his efforts on being part of that historic photo of the Paris Olympic marathon as the culmination of his career.
That photo can no longer be complete. February 11, 2024 will forever be recorded in the album of world athletics as a tragic date. The date Kiptum died, leaving behind the great unknown about whether he would be able to be the first man to go under two hours in the mythical distance of 42,195 meters.