In a tragic turn of events, marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday. The accident occurred on the road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, where many athletes go to train for long-distance running. Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos, who was at the hospital where the bodies were taken, confirmed the news.
Kiptum was only 24 years old but was already making waves in the world of long-distance running. He had set a new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating Eliud Kipchoge’s previous mark. His performance had been ratified by international track federation World Athletics just last week.
Kiptum’s success started early when he ran the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant at the 2022 Valencia Marathon. He went on to win the London and Chicago races last year, two of the most prestigious marathons in the world. His legacy will be remembered as one of an incredible athlete who left an indelible mark on long-distance running.
The Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei expressed his condolences and sent a team of officials to investigate the accident that claimed both lives. The tragedy has shocked everyone who knew Kiptum and his coach, including World Athletics president Sebastian Coe, who offered his condolences in a statement on Twitter (formerly X). “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” Coe wrote. “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates, and the Kenyan nation.”