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FULL VIDEO: How Marathon World Record Holder Kiptum Was Laid To Rest

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Top athletes and dignitaries joined hundreds of mourners at the funeral of Kelvin Kiptum, Kenya’s world marathon record-holder, in the nation’s athletics heartland where he was born, trained, and tragically died.

Kiptum, a 24-year-old father of two, was killed in a late-night car crash on February 11, just months after setting the marathon record in Chicago.

President William Ruto and World Athletics head Sebastian Coe were among those attending the funeral in the Rift Valley village of Chepkorio. Kiptum’s wife, Asenath Rotich, was overcome with emotion as she read a tearful tribute to her late husband, revealing that the couple had planned to hold a wedding ceremony in April.

Despite competing in only three marathons, Kiptum won all of them, posting three of the seven fastest times in history for the event. Coe described his death as “a cause of intense sadness” and praised him for achieving so much in his short life.

Kiptum ran the Chicago race in October in a record-breaking time of two hours and 35 seconds, beating his Kenyan rival Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record. His sudden death has deeply affected Kenya and the wider athletics community.

Ruto said Kiptum represented “the future of athletics” and commended his perseverance in the face of adversity. Mourners, including top athletes like Faith Kipyegon and David Rudisha, paid their respects, kneeling in prayer near Kiptum’s casket and showering it with rose petals.

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