The father of the late marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has called for an investigation into his son’s death after claiming four unidentified people came looking for him days before his fatal car crash.
Kiptum, 24, died in a car accident in his native Kenya on Sunday, which also killed his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana.
The Kenyan distance runner’s death came just five days after World Athletics ratified his world record time of 2:00.35, which he set when winning the Chicago Marathon.
Kiptum’s father, Samson Cheruiyot has now called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his son’s death.
He told Kenya’s Citizen TV that a group of four people had looked for Kiptum four days before the car crash.
‘There are people who came home a while back who were looking for Kiptum but they refused to identify themselves,’ Cheruiyot said.
‘I asked them to provide identification, but they opted to leave.
‘It was a group of four people.’
Cheruiyot revealed he had first heard about his son’s
death while watching the news.
‘I got the news of my son’s death at while I was watching news,’ Cheruiyot said.
‘I went to the scene of the accident but the police had taken the body to Eldoret.
‘He told me someone will come and help us build a house. He said that his body is now fit, and he can now run for 1:59.
‘Kiptum was my only child. He has left me, his mom, and his kids. I have no other child. His mom was sick for a while. Right now I’m deeply saddened.’
Kiptum and his coach Hakizimana died in the crash in Kaptagat on Sunday, an area in the south-west of Kenya renowned as a training base for distance runners.
Details of the crash were revealed on Monday, with a female passenger, Sharon Chepkemoi, 32, surviving the incident after being taken to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
According to Kenneth Kimaiyo – one of the first responders at the crash site – via Nation, Kiptum’s body was found under the vehicle with the runner already dead, and Hakizimana still alive on a hill.
The newspaper adds that Kiptum, who was a father of two and the son of a runner and volleyball player, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a big tree at the Kaptagat area along the Eldama Ravine-Eldoret.
Kiptum had been on his way back from Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.
Jackson Tuwei, President of Athletics Kenya, said the vehicle veered off the road into a ditch before hitting a big tree 60 metres from the main road.