In the wake of a tragic accident, Kenyan marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana have passed away. Milcah Chemos, a fellow athlete who was at the hospital where their bodies were taken, confirmed their deaths. Kiptum, who was 24 years old, 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, in the heart of the high-altitude region known for its long-distance running training base.
According to Chemos, she was among a group of athletes who had gone to the hospital after hearing about the crash. Family members of Kiptum were also present to identify his body. Kenyan media reported that there was a third person in the car, a woman, who was also taken to the same hospital with serious injuries. Kiptum set a new world record at the Chicago Marathon in October by becoming the first man to run under 2 hours and 1 minute. His record was ratified by World Athletics last week.
Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei stated that he had sent a team of officials to the area after being informed about the late-night accident. Kiptum’s success came immediately as he ran the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant at the 2022 Valencia Marathon and won both London and Chicago races last year, two of the most prestigious marathons in the world. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe offered condolences on behalf of all World Athletics in his statement on X (formerly Twitter). “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Kelvin Kiptum’s passing along with his coach Gervais Hakizimana,” Coe wrote. “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and Kenyan nation.”