Kelvin Kiptum: Africa’s Fastest Man Ferdinand Omanyala Sends Heartfelt Tribute to Record Holder

Kelvin Kiptum: Africa’s Fastest Man Ferdinand Omanyala Sends Heartfelt Tribute to Record Holder

Robert Abong'o
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • Ferdinand Omanyala has sent a heartfelt tribute to Kelvin Kiptum
  • The marathon world record-holder died in a car accident on Sunday
  • Kiptum's death comes days after World Athletics ratified his record

Africa's fastest man, Ferdinand Omanyala, has joined the world in paying tribute to the late Kelvin Kiptum.

Kiptum tragically lost his life in a fatal car accident at Flax junction in Kaptagat on Sunday night, February 11, leaving the athletics world in shock.

The incident unfolded along the Eldoret-Ravine highway, where Kiptum's vehicle veered off the road, colliding with a tree and claiming his life instantly.

Ferdinand Omanyala has shared his condolences with Kelvin Kiptum's family. Photos: Ferdiomanyala.
Ferdinand Omanyala shared a heartfelt tribute to Kelvin Kiptum. Photos: Ferdiomanyala.
Source: Instagram

The marathon world record holder's coach, Gervais Hazimana, also lost his life in the crash.

Commonwealth Games champion Omanyala took to social media to express his grief and pay tribute to Kiptum's memory. He hailed Kiptum as a 'hero' whose life exemplified the resilient spirit of the nation, leaving an indelible mark on Kenya's athletics legacy.

"Waking up to the devastating news of the untimely passing of my fellow athlete, a hero who represented Kenya with pride, was heartbreaking. Your life embodied the unwavering spirit of our nation, and your legacy will endure. We mourn your loss deeply; the nation mourns, and personally, I feel the pain. Rest in Peace, Kelvin. My sincere condolences to your family," Omanyala shared on Instagram.

Travelling with Kiptum and his coach in the Toyota Premio was Sharon Kosgei, who sustained injuries and received medical treatment at Racecourse Hospital. The bodies were transported to the Eldoret Hospital morgue, as reported by The Star.

Authorities are still conducting investigations to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident, aiming to provide clarity and closure to this tragic event.

Tributes pour in for Kelvin Kiptum

Among the first to react to the news was World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, who had recently ratified Kiptum's marathon record. Kenyan marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge also extended his condolences to Kiptum's family, acknowledging the promising athlete's potential for greatness.

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the Marathon World record holder and rising star Kelvin Kiptum. An athlete with a bright future ahead of him. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his young family. May God comfort you during this difficult time," said Kipchoge in a social media post.

World 100m and 200m champion Noah Lyles, along with other athletics figures like double Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, also mourned the untimely death of the promising marathoner.

Kiptum gained prominence in December 2022 when he set the fastest time for a debutant in a marathon. He continued to impress, breaking records, including Kipchoge's course record at the London marathon in April. His remarkable feat in Chicago, where he became the first man to run a marathon in under 2 hours and 1 minute, solidified his status as a rising star in the sport.

Tragically, Kiptum's life was cut short just five days after World Athletics ratified his record-breaking achievement.

Ferdinand Omanyala sets new record in Paris

Sports Brief previously reported when Ferdinand Omanyala stormed to victory at the Paris Indoor Tour on Sunday, February 11.

Omanyala broke his national record again, running 6.51 seconds to finish ahead of Emmanuel Matadi and win the 60m race.

Matadi used 6.57 seconds to finish in second place, while Azu Jeremiah was third with 6.59 seconds.

Robert Abong'o photo
Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
KenyaFerdinand Omanyala