In a tragic accident, marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana lost their lives on Sunday night in Kenya. Milcah Chemos, a fellow athlete who went to the hospital where their bodies were taken, confirmed the news.
Kiptum was 24 years old and had just started to make a name for himself as one of the best long-distance runners in the world. He set a new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating Eliud Kipchoge’s previous mark. His record was ratified by World Athletics last week, making him an even bigger star in the sporting world.
The crash happened on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of high-altitude training grounds for long-distance runners. Chemos was among a group of athletes who went to the hospital after hearing about the crash. She says that family members of Kiptum were also there to identify his body.
According to Kenyan media, there was another person in the car – a woman – who was seriously injured but survived the crash. Kiptum’s success began with his debut at the 2022 Valencia Marathon when he ran the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant. He went on to win two of the most prestigious races in London and Chicago last year, cementing his status as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time.
Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, offered his condolences on behalf of all World Athletics after learning about Kelvin’s death. “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Kelvin’s tragic loss,” Coe wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to his family, friends