Kenya lost its long-distance running superstar Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana in a tragic car crash on Sunday. The news was confirmed by Kenyan runner Milcah Chemos, who saw Kiptum’s body at the hospital where they were taken. The accident happened on a road between Eldoret and Kaptagat in western Kenya, in the heart of the high-altitude region renowned for producing world-class runners.
Kiptum was just 24 years old and had already achieved immense success in his short career, setting a new world record for the marathon at the Chicago Marathon in October. He beat Eliud Kipchoge’s mark of 2:17:39 with a time of 2:00.35, a feat that was ratified by international track federation World Athletics last week.
Kiptum had immediate success by running the fastest time ever by a marathon debutant at the 2022 Valencia Marathon. He won the London and Chicago races last year, two of the most prestigious marathons in the world. His loss is not only felt by his family and friends but also by the entire athletic community worldwide.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe offered his condolences to Kiptum’s family and friends on behalf of all World Athletics, saying “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the devastating loss of Kelvin Kiptum and his coach, Gervais Hakizimana.” He went on to say “On behalf of all World Athletics we send our deepest condolences to their families, friends, teammates and the Kenyan nation.”