24-year-old Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, who holds the world marathon record, passed away in a tragic road accident on Sunday. Kiptum won the London Marathon in April and set the world record in Chicago in October. According to a police report, 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.
Kelvin Kiptum 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. Unfortunately, his untimely death was a shock to the sports world.
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. Both Kiptum and Hakizimana were killed instantly while the third passenger was taken to a hospital in Eldoret.