Kenyan marathon world record-holder Kelvin Kiptum killed in car accident, fellow athlete confirms

Tragic Loss: World Record-Holder Kelvin Kiptum and Coach Gervais Hakizimana Killed in Car Accident in Kenya

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. Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos, who was at the hospital where the bodies were taken, confirmed the news.

Kiptum was 24 years old and on course to becoming a superstar of long-distance running. He had set a new world record of 2:00.35 at the Chicago Marathon in October, beating the mark of fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. His record was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week.

The crash happened on a road between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of the high-altitude region that’s renowned 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 the news of the crash. Family members of Kiptum were also with her to identify his body.

Kenyan media reported that a third person, a woman, was in the car and was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries. According to Chemos, she saw Kiptum’s body at the hospital and described him as being “in perfect condition.” She said he looked “like he had just fallen asleep.”

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 of the most prestigious marathons in the world – London and Chicago – last year. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe offered his condolences on behalf of all World Athletics in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). He wrote: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana.”

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