Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum after winning the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. GETTY IMAGES

The funeral of marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum will be held on Friday 23 February instead of Saturday, Athletics Kenya has announced. The change is linked to the presence of Kenya's President William Ruto at the event. The government is determined to give the young marathon star a "hero's farewell".

The funeral of Kelvin Kiptum has been brought forward to Friday 23rd of February. The athlete and his Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a car accident on the road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in Kenya on 11 February. His death has shocked Kenya and the world of athletics. A Kenyan athletics official told AFP on Tuesday that the funeral would be a "state function" attended by President William Ruto attendance and was brought forward by a day because of his schedule. 

"Kelvin will be laid to rest on Friday 23 February 2024 at his home in Chepkorio village, Elgeyo Marakwet," Athletics Kenya said through X on Tuesday.

Kiptum became the only man to run a sub-2:00:35 marathon in Chicago last October, beating Eliud Kipchoge's previous record by 34 seconds. The 24-year-old father of two has been training hard to become the first man to run a marathon in under two hours. "The only way to honour my brother Kiptum is to win the 2024 Olympic marathon and bring the victory home," Kipchoge wrote on X.

The young athlete has competed in just three marathons and owns three of the seven fastest times in the history of the event. He was the favourite to win gold at the Paris Olympics, where he was expected to go head-to-head with Kipchoge for the first time.