Kenyans and the sporting fraternity worldwide are mourning the death of track and field athlete Nicholas Bett.

The world champion hurdler died on Wednesday morning in a car crash near Nandi County in west Kenya.

His trainer, Vincent Mumo, said that the athlete’s SUV hit bumps in the road and rolled as it went off the tarmac in the high-altitude training region.

Bett's death is indeed a big blow to the athletics community seeing that he had just come from representing Kenya in the Continental Championships in Nigeria.

The 28-year-old will be remembered for being the first Kenyan athlete to win a World Championships gold medal in the men’s 400m hurdles in Beijing.

No Kenyan had ever before triumphed at a distance shorter than 800 metres.

Historic gold

Bett scaled the hurdles from the outer lane in 47.79 seconds to not only bag the historic gold but also break the national record that stood at 48.24 by Eric Keter.

Besides the gold medal in Beijing, he also claimed bronze medals in the 400-metre hurdles and 4x400-metre relay at the 2014 African Championships in Marrakech, Morocco.

The hurdler began to compete on the international track and field circuit in 2015 and had wins at the Savo Games and Lappeenranta Games in Finland.

A personal best of 48.29 seconds at the 2015 Athletics Kenya World Championship Trials brought him selection for the national team and raised him to third on the global rankings.