Tributes poured in on Monday for Kenyan running sensation Kelvin Kiptum after the marathon world record-holder was killed in a car crash at the age of 24.
The favourite for the Paris 2024 Olympics was driving from Kaptagat to Eldoret in the Rift Valley of western Kenya around 11:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Sunday when his car came off the road and hit a tree.
Father of two Kiptum and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed while a woman passenger was seriously injured, police said.
“He lost control and veered off-road entering into a ditch on his left side. He drove in the ditch for about 60 metres before hitting a big tree,” said an official police report from Elgeyo Marakwet County where the accident occurred.
It said Kelvin Kiptum and Hakizimana died on the spot while the passenger Sharon Chepkurui Kosgei was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
Images on Kenyan media showed the mangled wreck of the vehicle, its windscreen shattered, the roof and doors buckled and almost ripped off.
Kiptum exploded onto the marathon scene when he ran a world record 2:00:35 in Chicago in October, taking 34 seconds off fellow Kenyan star Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record.
He was just 23 at the time, and competing in only his third marathon.
Kiptum also won his other two efforts — his debut in Valencia in 2022 and a follow-up in London the following year.
Kipchoge said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of the “rising star” who surpassed his record.
“An athlete who had a whole life ahead of him to achieve incredible greatness,” Kipchoge said in a statement on X.
Kenya’s President William Ruto described Kelvin Kiptum as “one of the world’s finest sportsmen who broke barriers to secure a marathon record”.
“An extraordinary sportsman has left an extraordinary mark in the globe,” he said on X.
From herding goats just a decade ago, Kiptum had announced he would attempt in April to become the first man to run an official marathon under the mythic two-hour mark.
World Athletics said his debut was the fastest in history and mourned the loss of “one of the most exciting new prospects to emerge in road running in recent years”.
JUST IN: Jose Peseiro resigns as Super Eagles head coach
Jose Peseiro has announced his departure from his Super Eagles head coach role.
In a post on his X account on Friday, the Portuguese said his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had run out, and no new deal had been agreed on.
Peseiro, appointed Eagles head coach in 2022, described his tenure as “22 months of immense dedication, sacrifice, emotion, and enormous enthusiasm”.
He expressed gratitude to the players and top brass at NFF, adding that “we will always be there for you, no matter where you are”.
“Yesterday, we concluded our contract with the NFF. It was a pride and honour to coach the Super Eagles. It has been 22 months of immense dedication, sacrifice, emotion, and enormous enthusiasm. We feel a sense of fulfilment,” the tweet reads.
“We would like to express our gratitude to Sir Amaju Pinnick (the president who signed us), President Ibrahim Gusau, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, Secretary Dayo Enebi, the NFF, all the Staff, and especially all the PLAYERS, with whom leading has been a great pleasure.
“Guys, we are thankful; it has been a privilege to be part of this family. We will miss you, but we will always be there for you, no matter where you are. A big hug to all of you.”
Ronaldo gets 1-match ban for obscene gesture to fans chanting ‘Messi’
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has banned Cristiano Ronaldo for one match for his obscene celebration on Sunday.
Ronaldo scored in Al-Nassr’s 3-2 win away to Al-Shabab in their Saudi Pro League match, leading to chants of Lionel Messi, his perennial rival, by the home supporters.
This provoked a response from Ronaldo who cupped his ear before repeatedly pumping his hand forward in front of his pelvic area.
His action appeared to be directed at the rival Al Shabab supporters.
Although the celebration was not captured on local broadcasts, a fan uploaded the video on social media.
The footage was thereafter presented to the disciplinary and ethics committee of the SAFF who stated that the Portuguese striker violated article 57-1 of the disciplinary and ethics regulations.
Ronaldo was also asked to pay a fine of 10,000 Saudi riyals ($2,666) to the Saudi Football Federation and 20,000 riyals to Al Shabab to cover the costs of the complaint filing fees.
In a statement on Wednesday, the committee said the decision is not subject to appeal.
It is the eighth disciplinary action of Ronaldo’s storied career and his first since joining Al-Nassr. He was previously fined and banned for two matches in November 2022 by the English FA for smashing the mobile phone of a young fan during his second spell at Manchester United.
Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr on a free transfer from Manchester United in December 2022. He has scored 20 goals in 22 league games this season for Al-Nassr.
Super Eagles’ friendly game against Argentina cancelled over visa problems
The scheduled friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Albiceleste of Argentina has been cancelled.
In January, The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) announced that the country’s men’s senior team will be playing Nigeria in March.
The reigning world champions were scheduled to play the Eagles at the Olympics Sports Center stadium in Hangzhou, China, as part of a tour between March 18 and 26.
However, in a statement on its website on Tuesday, AFA said the fixture has been moved to the US, and the Super Eagles will not be participating.
The statement added that “an administrative problem with visas” ruled Nigeria out of the friendly match, and Costa Rica has been drafted as replacement.
“Due to an administrative problem with visas, the Nigerian National Team will not be able to play its match against the Argentine National Team, scheduled for the double date in March in the United States. That is why the Costa Rica National Team will replace the African team on the stipulated schedule,” the statement reads.
The Super Eagles finished second at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire. Nigeria lost 2-1 to the hosts in the final.
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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