Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, a 24-year-old world marathon record holder, passed away in a tragic road accident on Sunday. The news of his death has left the sports world in shock as he had set the world record in Chicago in October and won the London Marathon in April.
In a police report, it was stated that Kiptum lost control of his vehicle while driving in Kaptagat, south-west Kenya, at 11pm local time. His coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also died in the crash, with a third person being taken to the hospital.
The prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, along with the minister for sports, Ababu Namwamba, expressed heartbreak over the loss of Kelvin Kiptum. The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, was also deeply saddened by the news, describing Kiptum as an incredible athlete who is leaving behind an incredible legacy.
According to local county commander Peter Mulinge, the accident was a result of Kiptum losing control of his vehicle and striking a tree before landing in a ditch. Unfortunately for both athletes and their families alike, their untimely deaths were a tragedy that will be felt for years to come.
Kelvin Kiptum had recently had his world record ratified by World Athletics and announced plans to become the first athlete to run an official marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam in April.
The loss of such talented young athletes is always difficult to bear and leaves us all with heavy hearts. We must remember them not just for their incredible athletic achievements but also for their contributions to our society as role models and inspiration to many others. Rest in peace Kelvin Kiptum and Gervais Hakizimana.