In a tragic turn of events, Kenya’s marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum passed away in a road accident on Sunday. The 24-year-old had 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 loss of Kiptum has been deeply felt by many, including Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba who expressed their heartbreak over the tragedy. The president of World Athletics, Sebastian Coe, also mourned Kiptum’s passing, describing him as an incredible athlete who left behind an incredible legacy.
According to local county commander Peter Mulinge, the accident was caused by 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 hospital in Eldoret.
Kelvin Kiptum had recently had his world record ratified by World Athletics and was planning to become the first athlete to run an official marathon under two hours in Rotterdam in April. His untimely death has been a shock to the sports world and he will be greatly missed for his talent and achievements on the track.