In a tragic turn of events, Kenyan marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana lost their lives in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday. This news was confirmed by fellow athlete Milcah Chemos, who saw Kiptum’s body at the hospital where he was taken.
Kiptum was just 24 years old and on track to become a superstar of long-distance running. His Rwandan coach Hakizimana was also killed in the accident, which happened on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya. The high-altitude region, known for its training base for long-distance runners, was the site of the crash.
Chemos said she was among a group of athletes who had gone to the hospital after hearing about the crash. Family members of Kiptum were also there to identify his body. Kenyan media reported that a third person, a woman, was also in the car and was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries.
Kiptum set a new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October 2021, beating Eliud Kipchoge’s mark. His record was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week. The Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei said he had sent a team of officials to the area after being informed about the late-night accident.
Kiptum had immediate success by running the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant at the Valencia Marathon in 2021. He won two prestigious marathons last year – London and Chicago races – making him one of the most sought after runners globally. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe offered his condolences on behalf of all World Athletics in his 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,” he wrote.”On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation,” he added.”It was only earlier this week in Chicago, where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon World Record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time,” Coe wrote.”An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy