Kelvin Kiptum: Marathon World Record Holder, Dies with his Coach in Car Crash

Kiptum ran the 2023 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:00.35, setting a new world record

Kelvin Kiptum is a massive loss for the marathon community. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum has died at the age of 24 after a car accident in western Kenya on Sunday. Kiptum’s coach, Gervais Hakizimana, also died in the accident.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana,” World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said in a statement posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Sunday. “On behalf of all World Athletics, we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”

Coe continued: “It was only earlier this week in Chicago, the place where Kelvin set his extraordinary marathon World Record, that I was able to officially ratify his historic time.”

Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Elite Men’s Marathon during the 2023 TCS London Marathon on April 23, 2023 in London, England. PC: ALEX DAVIDSON/GETTY

“An incredible athlete leaving an incredible legacy, we will miss him dearly,” he concluded.

According to an ESPN report, Kiptum and Hakizimana were killed in the crash that happened between the towns of Eldoret and Kaptagat at 11 p.m. local time.

The high-altitude region is a popular training base for long-distance runners. An unidentified woman who was also in the car during the crash was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, Kenyan media reported.

Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commander Peter Mulinge told CNN that Kiptum was driving the vehicle, a Toyota Premio, at the time of the accident, and both he and Hakizimana died at the scene.

“He lost control, veered off the road, entered into a ditch 60 meters away and hit a big tree,” the police commander said.

The 24-year-old won the London Marathon in April before setting the world record in Chicago in October.

Last week Kiptum’s world record of 2hr 0min 35sec, which took 34sec off Eliud Kipchoge’s old mark, was ratified by World Athletics.

He had also recently announced plans to become the first athlete to run an official marathon in under two hours, in Rotterdam in April.

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