In a tragic accident that has sent shockwaves throughout the athletic community, marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana were killed in a car crash in Kenya late Sunday. The news was confirmed by fellow athlete Milcah Chemos, who was at the hospital where the bodies were taken.
Kiptum, who was just 24 years old, had been on course to becoming a superstar of long-distance running. He set the new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. Kiptum’s record was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week.
The crash occurred on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of the high-altitude region known for its 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 there to identify his body.
In addition to Kiptum and his coach, a third person – a woman – was also reportedly injured in the crash and taken to the same hospital with serious injuries. Kenyan media reported that she was still being treated at the hospital on Monday morning.
Kiptum’s death is a loss not only for his family and friends but also for the athletic community as a whole. He had immediate success 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