Front pages of two Kenyan newspapers, The Standard and the Daily Nation, with tributes to world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum. GETTY IMAGES

The funeral of Kenya's world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum, who died in a car crash at the weekend, will be held on 24 February, an athletics official said on Wednesday, with the government promising a "heroic farewell".

Kiptum will be buried at the family home in Chepsamo, near Eldoret, the heartland of Kenyan distance running in the west of the country, Athletics Kenya executive committee member Barnabas Korir told AFP. His Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana also died in the crash, while a female passenger was injured. 

"We have agreed on February 24 after consultations with the family and the government, which has taken over all the funeral arrangements and protocol," Korir commented a day after visiting the bereaved family. Police said Kiptum, a 24-year-old father of two, died after the car he was driving veered into a ditch and hit a tree in the Eldoret area on Sunday night.

Kiptum's death, just four months after he broke the world marathon record, shocked Kenya and the world of athletics. "We are expecting some high dignitaries to attend the funeral, including Kenyan President William Ruto and the head of World Athletics Sebastian Coe," Korir said. 

He added that the funeral service would be funded by the government. "In honour of Kenya's world marathon record holder, a true national hero, the Government will assist Kiptum's family in giving him a befitting heroic farewell," Kenya's cabinet said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kiptum was a sporting powerhouse whose achievements inspired millions around the world. He remains the only person in history to run a marathon in under two hours and one minute. Kiptum broke the world record in Chicago last October, shaving 34 seconds off the previous fastest time set by his Kenyan rival, Eliud Kipchoge. 

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.

Athletics Kenya also announced the cancellation of the trials for the African Games, which were due to take place next Friday and Saturday "in honour of the late Kelvin Kiptum". 

It said the selection process for the team to represent Kenya at next month's Games in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, would take place at a date to be announced. Tributes have poured in for Kiptum, with Coe describing him as "an incredible athlete who leaves an incredible legacy".