In a tragic turn of events, marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed in a car crash in Kenya on Sunday. Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos, who went to the hospital to see Kiptum’s body, confirmed the news. Kiptum was 24 and had been on track to become a superstar in long-distance running.
The crash occurred on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, where many athletes train for long-distance running at high altitudes. Chemos was among a group of athletes who went to the hospital after hearing about the accident. Family members of Kiptum were also present to identify his body.
Kiptum had set a new world record for the marathon earlier this year when he ran it in under 2 hours, 1 minute at the Chicago Marathon. His time was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week. Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei sent a team of officials to the scene after being informed about the accident.
Kiptum’s success as a marathon runner began early on when he ran the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant at the 2022 Valencia Marathon. He won both the London and Chicago races last year, two of the most prestigious marathons globally. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe offered his condolences on behalf of all World Athletics in a statement on X formerly Twitter: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.”