Tiktekno: clip summarizing today's events in sport, 11.2/sport1
All of Kenya mourns the tragic death of Kelvin Kiptom, the world record holder in the marathon, who died last night (Sunday) in a car accident in the west of the country when he was only 24 years old, and still has not fulfilled his promise.
From the prime minister and the head of the opposition to the last of the athletes, everyone in Kenya reacted with shock to the news of the accident, in which Kiptom's coach also died and another woman, whose identity has not yet been definitively ascertained, was seriously injured.
According to the initial investigation, Kiptom was driving the vehicle and his coach, Gervais Mizmana, was sitting next to him.
At around 23:00 Kenya time, Kiptom lost control of the vehicle for an unknown reason, collided with a guardrail and overturned.
The death of Kiptum and the Mizmana was determined on the spot.
Kiptom's story is inspiring.
Mizmana, a former marathoner, discovered Kiptom in 2009 when he was a poor 11-year-old boy from a family in need.
Kiptum was once a shepherd who walked for miles barefoot.
On one occasion the Mizmana saw him running near his father's farm, and decided to "recruit him".
The poor Kiptom started training for the marathon in an unprofessional way, and instead of doing it in regulated fields, he ran on the roads of Kenya.
He came to his first competitive marathon wearing running shoes that he had borrowed from a "rich" friend in the village.
Kiptom/GettyImages, Alex Davidson
Very quickly, Kiptum was revealed to be an upstart, and in 2023 it broke out.
Last October in the Chicago Marathon he managed to break the world record of Eliud Kipchoga, his countryman and who until then was considered the almost undisputed ruler of the wing.
Kiptum finished the marathon in Chicago after 2 hours and 35 seconds, and was scheduled to compete with Kipchoga at the Paris Olympics.
He has also been tipped as a frontrunner to become the first ever marathoner to drop under two hours.
Surprisingly, or not, Kipchoga was not among Kiptom's eulogists long hours after the tragic announcement of his death.
In fact, there were those in Kenya who claimed that the rivalry between Kiptum and Kipchoga had recently reached personal lines, and Kipchoga did not even congratulate Kiptum for breaking the world record.
Perhaps this is what caused sinister conspiracy theories indirectly linking Kipchoge to Kiptum's death to spread like wildfire on social media.
Kipchoga, they claimed, was afraid of the competition with Kiptum in the Paris Olympics, as was the footwear company accompanying him.
But the theories of the connection went so far that other marathoners in Kenya had to dispel the rumours.
"Eliod always respected Kiptom, always favored him, always wanted his best. He said more than once that Kiptom was going to be the one to break the world record. And so it did happen," one of them said today.
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