Less than a year after breaking the marathon world record, 24-year-old Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum has died in a road accident in Nairobi. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe expressed grief over Kiptum’s death. Let us tell you that along with Kiptum, his coach also died on the spot. The athletics world is in mourning due to Kiptum’s death.
Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum, the current world record holder for marathon running, and his coach perished in a car crash in Nairobi on Sunday. The news of Kiptum’s and his coach’s deaths, both 24 years old, has left the sports world in sadness. Less than five months had passed since Kelvin Kiptum’s world record breaking. Although it was anticipated that Kiptum would write a new chapter in sports history, this did not happen.
Even at the young age of 24, Kelvin Kiptum had a lasting impression on the game. On October 8, 2023, he ran the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:00:35, shattering the previous record for the distance. A week prior to Kiptum’s tragic passing, World Athletics verified the incredible feat.
What happened in the car?
Kelvin Kiptum was involved in a car accident close to Eldoret, a town in the Rift Valley. Some of the world’s top distance runners hail from this region. Kelvin abruptly lost control of the Toyota Premio he was driving. His car struck a tree after veering off the road. In addition to Kiptum, Rwandan coach Gervais Hakizimana also perished in this tragedy. Sharon Kosgei, a female passenger, was seriously injured but survived the collision.
Hakijimana was more than a coach
The Rise and Rise of Kelvin Kiptum pic.twitter.com/JfVEsbiXCj— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) February 12, 2024
Gervais, 36, was more than a coach for Hakizimana Kiptum. He himself has been a former distance runner. He holds the record of 3000 meters in steeplechase. The pair were shining ahead of last year’s London Marathon, where Kiptum displayed his race strategy to win in the stretch.
Athletics world expressed condolences
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe expressed his condolences to fellow athletes and fans and said that Kelvin’s death is a deep loss for the running community.
Koe posted on his official on behalf of all of World Athletics, we express our deepest condolences to his family, friends, teammates and the nation of Kenya.”
He also wrote, “I was able to verify this remarkable time earlier this week in Chicago, where Kelvin set the world record for the marathon. An amazing athlete who will be sorely missed for her legacy.”
How did Kiptum come into limelight?
Kiptum’s rise to prominence in the world of long-distance running was rapid. He made headlines by winning the 2023 London Marathon. There he showed his talent and dedication. This year, the record-breaking race in Chicago shocked the world. He became the first runner to finish the marathon in under two hours and one minute in an official race.
Formerly, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was listed on this record. Kenya shortlisted Kiptum and Kipchoge for the Olympics in Paris. Although Kelvin Kiptum was supposed to run the Rotterdam Marathon in April 2024, he chose not to participate in the Chicago Marathon the previous year. His goal was to finish the marathon in under two hours and set a new record for the fastest runner in history.