Kenya has lost a marathon record holder, Kelvin Kiptum, who passed away in a tragic road accident on Sunday. Kiptum was only 24 years old and had won the London Marathon in April, setting 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 hospital.
The prime minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, along with the minister for sports Ababu Namwamba expressed their heartbreak over the loss of Kelvin Kiptum. The president of World Athletics Sebastian Coe was deeply saddened by the news, describing Kiptum as an incredible athlete leaving 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. Sadly, both Kiptum and Hakizimana were killed instantly while the third passenger was taken to hospital in Eldoret.
Kelvin Kiptum’s untimely death was a shock to the sports world as he recently had his world record ratified by World Athletics and announced plans to become the first athlete to run an official marathon in under two hours in Rotterdam next April.