Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum is a “special talent” who will go on to have an “unbelievable career”, says Sir Mo Farah.
Kiptum, 24, died in a car accident with his coach Gervais Hakizimana in his native Kenya on Sunday.
He broke Eliud Kipchoge’s world record last year and is scheduled to participate in the Olympics this summer in Paris.
“Kelvin is an incredibly talented athlete and has achieved so much,” said Briton Farah.
Farah, Britain’s four-time Olympic champion over 5,000 and 10,000m, finished ninth in last year’s London Marathon – a race which Kiptum won in a record time of two hours, one minute and 25 seconds.
“He truly has a special talent and I have no doubt that he will go on to have an amazing career,” Farah said.
“I send all my sympathies and condolences to Gervais’ family and friends at this tragic time.”
Kiptum also broke the record for the fastest debut marathon in Valencia in 2022 before bettering Eliud Kipchoge’s overall record in Chicago last October, clocking 26.2 miles (42km) over two hour and 35 seconds.
Last week, his team announced that he will try to become the first person to run the distance in less than two hours in open competition.
Britain’s Emile Cairess, who finished sixth in London last year behind Kiptum, said the Kenyan could have been “Usain Bolt-esque” as a “figurehead in athletics”.
“It’s a big blow because at his level, someone can really get people’s attention outside the game,” Cairess told the BBC.
“A lot of people thought they would never see a sub two-hour marathon in their lives but since he came along, it seems like a given that he will do it because of his amazing performances so far.
“He almost certainly will. It’s very sad and a real shame we won’t see him again or attack that barrier.”