Kenyan marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a tragic car crash in Kenya on Sunday night, according to a fellow athlete who went to the hospital to see their bodies. Kiptum was just 24 years old and on his way to becoming a superstar of long-distance running.
The accident happened on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of the high-altitude region that’s famous as a training base for long distance runners. 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 with her to identify his body.
Kiptum set the new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating Eliud Kipchoge’s mark. His record was ratified by World Athletics last week, making him one of the fastest marathon runners in history. Kenyan athletics federation president Jackson Tuwei sent a team of officials to the scene after being informed about the late-night accident.
Kiptum’s immediate success began when he ran the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant at the 2022 Valencia Marathon. He went on to win two prestigious races, London and Chicago, last year. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe offered condolences in his statement on X (formerly Twitter). “We are shocked and deeply saddened by Kelvin Kiptum and Gervais Hakizimana’s tragic death,” he wrote. “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”