Kenyan long-distance runner Kelvin Kiptum, the new world record holder for the marathon, tragically passed away in a car crash with his coach on Sunday. The accident happened on a road in Kenya that is well-known as a training base for marathon runners. After hearing the news, a group of athletes, including fellow Kenyan Milcah Chemos, rushed to the hospital in Eldoret to confirm the deaths.
Kiptum was only 24 years old when he set the new world record of 2:00:35 at the Chicago Marathon in October. His achievement was officially ratified by World Athletics last week, and President Sebastian Coe expressed deep sorrow and shock upon hearing of his untimely death. “The loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach is a tragedy that has shaken our entire athletics community,” said Coe. “Kelvin was an incredibly talented athlete who had so much more to give.”
Nick Gornick, a Chicago physical therapist and running coach who witnessed Kiptum’s record-breaking finish at the Chicago Marathon, shared his condolences with Kiptum’s family and friends. “Kelvin had such an incredible talent,” said Gornick. “He was destined for great things in this sport.” Gornick also lamented Kiptum’s untimely death, noting that it is always sad to lose an athlete who has achieved so much at such a young age.