The future is now. Announced as the future of the marathon, Kelvin Kiptum is already asserting himself as the present of the distance. He became the world record holder this Sunday, October 08, at the Chicago Marathon. All the while wiping out the now ex-king, Eliud Kipchoge. It was a daring feat.
Nobody expected it, but Kelvin Kiptum did it. The 23-year-old Kenyan had the "insolence" to break the marathon world record this Sunday, October 08, in Chicago. The new reference time: 2 h 00'35''. Eliud Kipchoge's 2 h 01'09'' is now in the rear-view mirror. This at a time when the distance seemed to have become the preserve of the double Olympic champion. A shock for many observers of athletics, and of the marathon in particular. Nevertheless, his debut at the 42.195 km might well have suggested that he would be the new phenomenon of the long distance. At the London Marathon in April, the youngster won the race in 2h01mn25s, just shy of Kipchoge's record. Before Chicago, Kiptum already had two of the fastest times in history (2h01mn27s and 2H01mn53s).
Kelvin Kiptum just ran a record marathon time of 2:00:35 in Chicago.
He beat Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:01:09 time by 34 secs! And was only 35 secs from sub- 2 hours.
The Kenyan star is only 23-years old and trains by himself with no coach.
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) October 8, 2023
For Ouest-France, Nicolas Navarro, former French cross-country skier, is ecstatic. "We were more or less expecting this record. Considering what he'd done in his first two marathons, the time isn't too bad," he begins.He goes on to add."I knew he was going to beat that world record. I'm impressed, but not surprised. It's still a surprise, because a year ago, we didn't know him, and it took Eliud ten years to reach this level on a marathon...".
However, even if they are impressed by Kelvin Kiptum, some of them show a certain restraint. Such is the case of Yohan Durand. The French athlete points out that Kenya has been hit by a doping "epidemic" for several months now."Athletics is a sport affected by doping. Its credibility has been tarnished by these cases. There are around fifty Kenyans suspended at the moment, and you add in a guy who's kicking the crap out of everyone!It's too impressive...". And Jean-Claude Vollmer adds, again for Ouest-France."My arms are falling off. It's an incredible time," says the coach of Morhad Amdouni, the French record-holder (2 h 05'22''). It's as if breaking a world record has become routine... Either it's the achievement of the century, or it's a phenomenal swindle."
Be that as it may, and until proven otherwise, Kelvin Kiptum is the new marathon king.
A novice who made his debut on the distance in 2022 and, at 23 years of age, seems to have barely begun his reign. You'll have to get up early to catch him.His duel with Eliud Kipchoge is the stuff of amateur dreams.Who knows, maybe it will take place at the Paris Olympics in 2024...